I know I’ve mentioned this before but I have these Zoom calls with friends of mine from the college days, a three best who help me find my center when things have gone askew which is quite often. I sooooo look forward to these calls, once a month or so, especially after what can be long weeks around here.
I told Lori she is my carrot.
One of the best parts of these calls is just the initial connect, a Lori face with a cat in her hair just to my left on the screen, a Tom to the center, then a Mark moving things for the view to a now Zoom room square, faces that remind of youth and the best of days or mistakes and lessons learned, of helping each other to grow up, sometimes forcing, friends that were found unintentionally but have been held all these years.
We talk of nothing … or everything, Lori of a bones told memory of anniversary’s and hurt this night with a bit of Crown in a tumbler’s fresh ice for the softening, Tom in his Tomness of trivia nights lost or of his wonderful blog about ghosts and frights and all things scary, (blogferatu.com), Mark keeping us informed on the news if we’re lagging or lamenting his numerous gigs with a Mark face that wonders why he has to have so many.
We talk of the fondest of memories, of college days and a Dr Bower poetically rolling square balls down hills while setting almost spent cigarettes to stand up on a podium with a smoke that still wants, back when smoking happened in classrooms, while reminding you of what was important in your work or lack thereof. Of a Dr Sipple who was a dad, the one you never wanted to disappoint and who taught you so much and the one to this day that you still hope to impress, just to let him know you still remember that importance. Of a Dessie who it was that kept the English Department together and who always had an ear amid her busy days for you to sit in the chair at the front of her desk.
You talk of Art, you always talk of Art, our collective ghost of a friend who could wrap a word within a word, give it a twist and then have it come back newly defined, you talk of him in deferential but angry ways “where the fuck have you been?” but then you remember that he loved a bit of intentional drama.
“Sleeping on the floor inside a bedframe, really?”
You move your camera to show a Mimi the Quirky on her bar towel just above your keyboard, a little Bella in her latest choice of one of your three PC chairs (cats got’s have choices) or just let it sit where it is to see a Cricket the Blind, with a swipe, swipe, swipe burying the food in bowls just over your shoulder. You watch a casual cat butt/tail pass in front of Tom’s hairy mug quite a few times, Lori moves hers to show you Jake asleep on the brand new love seat that was instantly dog commandeered the second she placed it in it’s spot, and if Mark is there you tell him it’s time to buy cat food and then get a cat to feed it to, maybe two.
Lori set the window at 5 hours for this Zoom call which I thought was kind of silly as who the hell is going to talk that long?
5 hours later, with Tom’s old dude stretches and hair rubs and Lori’s tumbler of crown and memory being nothing more than alcohol tinged water now and a Mark who couldn’t be here this night but maybe imagined he was to get through a day, I had to say it’s rack time.
These Zoom calls are a tether, they remind.
They hold you close.