For those of you who have been with me from the beginning, you know that in my family there are no shortages of bizarre stories to be heard, and always, it seems, from my dad. All along I've peppered you with Jillisms and things that can only happen to Jill. I don't know why it never occurred to me that this was an inherited disorder! Holy crap, she inherited it from Dad and I never put two and two together. Maybe I'm not the smart sister after all.
A couple of days ago my parents came over for a visit and Dad got into one of his storytelling modes. I told him I was whipping out my camera so I could get this online for posterity and that's exactly what I did. I'm not quite sure Dad heard the getting this online part though, because when Jimmy mentioned to him later that he'd now be famous smeared across the internet, he kinda- sorta threatened to kill me. But that can't be right. I mean, he's my Dad. He'll be happy that I revere him enough to share him with my hundreds six readers. Right?
The story I have for you today is one of my favorites. I've been hearing it on and off since childhood and my mother swears it's the truth, so it must be. Also, each story that my father tells never deviates from the original, so they must all be true. Right?
I guess he feels it's time to share these stories with his grandchildren. Check out Mikayla as she stuffs her face with salad while listening with rapt interest.
What's that saying? When God closes a door He opens a window? Who thought of that? Because whoever it was, I'd like to personally slap them upside the head, 'cause in my humble opinion, it's pure crap.
I did, in fact have a door close on me last week, but it wasn't just a regular old door. It was more the type you see in bank vaults. Ya know, those super heavy steel doors with that huge spinny thing that locks it? Yep, one of those slammed shut on me, but not before hitting me square in the face. I think it broke my face too, 'cause it's not doing the things it normally does, like smile, laugh, crinkle with joy, etc., etc. It does however, still leak tears, so all is not lost, I suppose.
Anyway, a couple of days after the big fucking door broke my face, a window opened. Well, not quite a window... more like a porthole, and it wasn't even opened all the way, just enough to let a refreshing breeze in.
This metaphorical open window was actually in the form of a phone call from someone I haven't spoken to in nearly 20 years. When I heard this person's voice it shocked me so bad that I was probably heard from blocks away screaming, "Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me? I can't believe this!" In fact, Mikayla banged on the window (I was out in the bitch cave) to tell me to crank it down a few notches. My bad.
So who was it on the phone, you ask?
Well no, of course it wasn't Prince, or The Artist, or Symbol Man, or whatever the hell he goes by these days, but Prince and this person go hand in hand in my memories.
It was Darling Nikki on the phone. No, not Darling Nikki of the song from the Purple Rain album, but my Darling Nikki. My very best friend from high school.
We met in Mr. Greek's 9th grade Earth Science class and there was instant chemistry (Ooh, that just made me giggle... another science word) between us. No one before or since has ever made me laugh as much as Nikki did. From this point on we were inseparable and annoyingly loud. All. The. Time. We passed notes, talked about which teachers had the best bulges and had secret code words for things we didn't want other people to know about. For example. IF. That means, "I farted." Then there was SWAIN, but I can't for the life of me remember what that stood for. "So what... something." I'll have to ask Nikki.
We spent a lot of time in this room. This was my house in NY, the basement that was turned into a den. A dark, dank, damp, horribly decorated (even for 1984) room, but we loved spending time down there.
Nikki would walk home from school with me often and we'd immediately hit the fridge or pantry. Nikki loved spending time at my house because of the over-abundance of food. I'd blame it on us being Italian, but I think it had more to do with my mom thinking we'd have a nuclear attack, and if there wasn't enough pre-packaged food in the house, we'd have to resort to eating each other.
After a snack... I remember eating lots of toast and cream cheese sandwiches... the two of us would lay on the damp, smelly, extremely ugly carpet to take a nap in front of the wood burning stove we had down there. It was just to the left of that ultra groovy example of Early American Crap furniture we were sitting on. Sometimes, if there wasn't a fire lit, we'd use the propane heater to keep warm.
Nikki dated Jimmy's best friend, Dave, for a while. That didn't go so well.
Did I mention that we laughed a lot? There was one night when Nikki slept over that we laughed so much, I wet my pants at least 7 times. It may have been more. I'll have to ask Nikki.
Okay, I know Nikki is reading this, so I have to ask, Nikki, do you remember working on our time line for Earth Science while sprawled out on my kitchen floor? Do you remember that while you were drawing a fish (Nikki is a fantastic artist btw) all you did was say "bony fishies" and we cracked up so bad that my mom thought we were losing our minds? Do you then remember that Mom started laughing so hard she fell off the kitchen chair?
Man I love that memory.
Senior prom, 1988
Jimmy, Nikki and me, graduation day, 1988
Over the next couple of years our friendship deteriorated and I can't even remember exactly how it happened. I do have one regret when it comes to Nikki... not something that I'll share with all of you, but she'll know what I'm talking about when she reads this. It was the trip she took down to Florida, not long after I moved here with my parents. Her visit turned into a total disaster, and again, I don't remember exactly why. Nikki, I don't think I ever apologized to you for what happened that week. No, not what happened... what I did. From the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry. It's one of my life's biggest regrets and embarrassments.
Here's a picture of me from that visit. Nikki took this of me while we were on the Magic Kingdom ferry. Don't say it. I know. I was frickin' hot. And imagine, I thought I was fat at the time. If only I could have seen 20 years into my future, maybe I would have enjoyed the body I was in at the time.
As Bob Hope used to say, "Thanks for the memories", Nikki. Falling asleep to Prince's Purple Rain or Pat Benetar (yes, I still despise her), going to the duck pond, Sunday dinners at my house, laughing endlessly, and so much more.
These days Darling Nikki has five kids, is an EMT and a caterer. I can't wait to speak to her again and find out if she's ever done anything with her artistic talent. (Btw Nik, that naked portrait you sketched of me? It was lost due to a leak years ago and I still miss it. Wanna do another one? Just kidding!)
Nikki, if you don't leave a comment here, I'll kick your ass, and I need you to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I'll have your email addy!
After 25 years of smoking, the last two of those years smoking 2-1/2 packs a day, on March 14th, 2011, I finally made a life-changing decision and started on my vaping journey.
It is my hope that with this blog I will be able to reach out to smokers who so badly want to quit, have tried numerous times and numerous ways to do so, but have always failed.
Could vaping ("smoking" an electronic cigarette) be the answer to your prayers as it was mine? Let's find out, shall we?