Best friends: A very small note for Andrew Ridgeley and Mark Hamill.

My mom died when I was fourteen.  Remember that for later.

When I was 17, I knew a guy at my Roman-Catholic high school named Jason. He was tall, nice-looking, and the prototypical life of the party. He died of a massive heart attack when we were in grade 12. He’d had a congenital heart defect which he and his family knew about — but very few people at school did. Our school held a memorial service for him, and I happened to sit near the front. I clearly saw Jason’s closest friend, and later wrote in my journal “Please help him God, he looks like I did three years ago.”

He was sitting in the pews beside the altar. With the family.

My first thought when George Michael died was for Andrew Ridgeley.  Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go was released in 1984. I was 9 years old, in grade 4. I loved George, obviously, but it was Andrew I had a crush on – he looked more attainable to me (for a superstar adult who lived in Britain). He looked nice. It always bothered me a bit whenever I heard a joke about him years later (“the other one from Wham!”), because I had felt overlooked all the time too. But think about this: they’d known each other since they were 17 years old. He was likely the first person George ever told he was gay…in the early 80s.  Yes, George Michael was the utterly talented, charismatic sex symbol. Yet I think it’s now very clear, there would have been no George Michael without Andrew.

And in the same week…Carrie Fisher. Whom I adored so much in When Harry Met Sally, but who had to forever after be Princess Leia. Princess. A princess who can lead an army, shoot a laser, fix a spaceship… oh that’s not normal? Oh well, that’s what 10-year-old me thought a princess was.  Sorry Disney.  Another reason I looked up to her: she was so pretty, yet not unachievably beautiful, like the supermodels my sisters and friends and I were inundated with in the 80s and 90s. , Carrie Fisher I could actually look like! (I didn’t remotely resemble her, but I felt I could.)

Amongst the explosions, taun-tauns, Ewoks, and VADER, my favourite scene in all the  Star Wars movies is Luke asking Leia about her mother. Yes, I loved, loved, loved Han and Leia, but I identified with Luke and Leia. They were destined to be best friends. And I always felt that same twinge about Mark Hamill whenever I heard a joke about him.  Whatever else happened (or didn’t) after, he was Luke Skywalker.  And there would have been no Princess Leia, no Carrie, without Mark.

Hug your closest friends. Be the best friend who becomes family.

 

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There is never enough time.

I just sat down at my second-favourite Second Cup (my favourite closed), on this Thursday evening, to at long last do the rewrites to a script which I can’t yet talk about. I brought my Macbook with me to work, because I knew if I went home first, I wouldn’t leave: dishes, laundry, washing of bathtub, cat, even cooking my own food would keep me from writing. So I opened my bag…and discovered I was so busy this morning getting ready for work, I forgot the script with the handwritten rewrites I need to make on screen.

This is symptomatic.

I will shortly have a guest post here. It took me nearly a month to finish it. I typed part of this post into Notepad on my iPhone, on the bus, on my way to complete a full day of errands, back on SUNDAY. My every weekend is taken up with visiting my family — I want to, but I also NEED to — and chores, because no matter how often you do them, there are always more. Saturday nights and often Sunday afternoons I must see shows. Again, I want to, but it’s also part of my…”job”. Which doesn’t pay me. (More tomorrow. If I get the time.) I have a day job, and making myself food and going to the bank and paying bills and all the itty bitty things I think won’t take up much of an evening DO, and I’m left with barely enough energy to brush my teeth before I need to go to bed to make sure I’m human for my paying job. And then it’s the weekend again. And I find I have not written anything of my own in three weeks.

There is never enough TIME.

This Guardian article has been making the rounds. It’s wonderful and true. However, it’s not the writing that’s killing me. Believe it or not, even if what I’m working on is utterly sad, I’m happy. Truly. No…what kills me is the research for theatres looking for what I write- which will all reject what I write. It’s nights like last Saturday, which I’m only writing about NOW, when I was so burnt out that I went to meet a friend to see a show…and discovered we were seeing it next week, and I nearly fell asleep on the train ride home. I genuinely don’t know where the obviously brilliant and committed Mr Rhodes finds 360 minutes in a day to do what he needs to. My every minute is spoken for and I don’t even have a family — more later, should I ever find the time. And the time I do purposely book off, like now, is wasted because I’m so strung out for time I forget the bloody thing I needed this time to work on. This Onion article is meant to be a funny read. I cried.

I’ve realized I don’t have time to work, write, take Spanish and spend time with my family and friends. But nor can I give anything up. Because that would kill me too. I NEED to do all these things…and there is not enough time.