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On kitties, suicide, and the JFK assasination

Today was a weird day.  It started with exhaustion, which is never a good thing when I’m trying to sound smart (I end up rambling).  I got in late last night from a trip to Buffalo, went to bed very very late, and didn’t sleep well.  I shuffled out of the house this morning, wearing ill-fitting clothes, mad at myself for not jogging, forgetting my business cards.  I crammed a manicure and chair massage in before the first event, which of course made me late for that event.

Then I went to a completely delightful lunch at Redbook Magazine, where I was in a room for two hours with a group of insanely smart people that I so wanted to impress, and while I had a great time I left wondering why I’m ever invited anywhere when I often sound like an idiot.  I was just tired.  And aggravated that I’d worn a raincoat and rain boots for no reason.  I mean, if I’m going to go through the trouble, then the least it can do is rain.

So I got on the subway back to Brooklyn in a weird funk.  Happy, because the events I’d been to had been great, but mad at my clothes and sorry that I’d once again left a meeting thinking “Why do I talk so much?”  I settled uncomfortably into a subway seat with my backpack still on my back, and checked my email.  There was one from my husband.  A former friend of ours had killed himself over the weekend.  My husband had happened upon it by chance online.

I don’t want to give the impression that I was at all close to Nick.  Whenever something bad happens to someone – or something very good – suddenly they have a thousand times more best friends than they really did.  Drives me crazy.  No, I hadn’t spoken to Nick in about five years, since we saw each other at a wedding.  He’d been a classmate of my husband’s in North Carolina, one of those really cute, totally funny, and unbelievably smart guys who just seem too good to be true.  I have no problem, as a happily married woman, saying that I had a crush on Nick.  Knowing my husband, if he read that, he’d cock his head to the side and remark “Yeah, I’d fuck him.”  (And that, in a nutshell, is why we’ve been together for 21 years.)

I gasped as I read the email, and the people sitting near me looked at me.  Twenty minutes later I almost missed my stop.  I couldn’t quite process the fact that this smart, funny guy had taken his own life.  The word “waste” kept running through my mind.

My funk continued throughout the evening, which was confusing because honestly, I probably hadn’t thought about Nick in years.  Maybe that’s part of it.  If it hit me this hard, how hard was it hitting his family?  His friends?

Then a little while ago I got an email from my mom.  My kitty, Patty, died this evening in her arms.  We had gotten Patty (and her sister Selma) in North Carolina.  Before we had actually babies, they were our babies.  But by the time I’d had my second child, my patience with the cats was wearing thin, and thankfully my mom took them.  Patty had a long happy life, ten years with us and five with my mom.  I was just in Buffalo staying with my mom this weekend, and I’d remarked how Patty had sat next to me and let me pet her for fifteen minutes, which had to be a record.  She’d gotten very thin and wasn’t eating well, and my mom had been talking about taking her to the vet.  I had actually told her not to, that Patty was just getting old and would be fine in a few days.  Well, I’ve been wrong before, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again.

So now I’m sitting here crying, and I don’t know if it’s for Nick, or for my kitty, or out of guilt because I’d kind-of forgotten about both of them for the last five years or so.  I’m wondering who else I’m ignoring, who else might need me while I’m wrapped up in my own life.  He was my husband’s friend really, not mine, but I’ve got plenty of friends out there that I don’t think about unless I stumble upon them or happen to see a Facebook entry.  And I’d love to end this post by saying that I’m going to make more of an effort to keep in touch with people, but I know myself better than that.

Instead, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite stories about Nick.  I remember about nine years ago I was at a wedding in Dallas, and a few of us had gone out to dinner not far from where JFK had been shot.  I got up to go to the bathroom, and Nick told me that it was back and to the left.  I took a few steps before turning around and seeing him laughing quietly at me.  He had exactly my sense of humor, and it always pissed me off that he could get me like that.

I’m sorry that Nick felt his only option was to take his own life.  And I’m glad my kitty died in my mom’s arms.

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.

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