I am lucky, thankful.
For the people who call you when a storm, a monsoon is raging outside your window and you are inside your apartment putting on your flimsy raincoat and packing your waterproof bike bag and tell you that they are coming to get you and to bring you to your studio and when they greet you at your door you peer out from beneath the bright blue hood of your coat and they tell you that you look beautiful, radiant, and they sit with you all day, seven hours of just sitting and playing music and introducing themselves to open-studios-goers and drinking beers from bags and playing music on familiar and strange instruments until the afternoon is over and the evening has begun.
For the people who watch you from across the table, who are enough concerned about the dishonorability of others’ intentions to say “No, not Bearica”, and the people who are pleasantly, protectively grumpy, the ones who lie in bed with their arms crossed and talk to you until you fall asleep.
For the people who introduce you to others as one of their best friends, the ones who confide, late at night in a booth of a bar that could be anywhere, that knowing you has changed them, has influenced their concept of friendship.
For the people who put aside their own major crises to write and speak in a direct, thoughtful, loving manner about your minor crises. The ones who say they want you, the ones who say you are theirs.
For the people who call you on speaker phone, just to say hi, just to say they love you, just to say that they wanted to have lunch with you, from a distance of 150 miles away. The ones who call to see if you and your broken cat have been swept away by a tornado, a hurricane.
For the people who have talked you through.
For the people who invite you over in the afternoon for lemonade.
For the person who just bought an expensive train ticket to come see me, to kiss me, to pat our cat, to bike to the beach together.
Here are some cats that have come up in my travels, the wonderful, weird, squashy life of Erica Quinn.