Sorry I haven’t been around. Been a little nuts here lately.
At the beginning of the week, we found out that a friend suffered the death of a parent. There I was, pissing and moaning about how tired I was from doing a show, and then we hear news like this. I know this is the understatement of the century, but watching someone go through that certainly helps to put things into perspective. Out of respect for their privacy, I won’t talk more about it. However, they are in our prayers. Mr. Surly and I are attending funeral services tomorrow.
Then, two and a half hours ago, I got a call from Viv. Long distance. From India.
For my long time readers, Viv is one of my best friends. She’s very Bridget Jones-y. Incredibly loyal with warm heart. Sense of wild adventure. Seemingly disorganized but secretly has all of her shit together. Gives surprisingly sage advice. Completely non-judgemental. In any case…
She has decided to spend her summer. Alone. Vacationing in the highly remote provinces of India. Learning meditation. Soaking up the sites. Doing some work with an international aid group during that latter part of her stay.
Admittedly I had my reservations about the trip. It’s a long time to be gone. She had no real set agenda. She doesn’t speak the language. And the big question: Yeah, India is great but wouldn’t she be just as happy parking herself on a lounge chair at the local pool?
It appears Viv and I differ on the meaning of "vacation."
I’ve worried about her before. Particularly when she moved abroad. But, her pluck and resourcefulness has always seemed to pull her through. Secretly, I suppose, I envied her amazing adventures. I loved slugging back gin and tonics as she told me about her day-to-day dramas.
But I digress…
At around 10 a.m., the phone rings. I look at the caller ID. Strange area code. Must be a telemarketer. I reluctantly pick up.
Viv: It’s me. Viv.
Me: I’m surprised to hear your voice –
Viv: I’m sorry. I didn’t know who else to call. I knew my dad would freak out…(Pause)…I’m not feeling very well…(Pause)…and I just wanted to tell you where I am…just in case.
I got her to run through her symptoms. Heart palpitations. Some numbness in her hand. A few other things.
She sounded worried.
I did my best “calm voice.”
She gave me the name of the small village where she is. (Not on a map.) She also gave me the name of the “larger” village next to where she is. (Also not on a map.) She was calling from a pay phone (?) and couldn’t remember the name of the place where she is staying.
Doesn’t matter. There’s no phone there anyway.
We talked about a strategy. Could be nothing at all. Could be something major. We don’t know. We’re not doctors.
She’s supposed to call back in 12 hours.
12. Long. Hours.
So, I wait – with photocopies of her passport and visa in my hand, muttering little prayers under my breath.