Posted by GIRL'S GONE CHILD | Monday, June 04, 2007
I've been here, in Memphis since Friday. My first time in the south, staying at a hotel with paintings on the ceiling in the lobby, with my dear friend who I haven't seen in months because she has been undergoing treatment at St. Jude. Again. I have never seen St. Jude until this trip after working with children who lived and were treated within its walls for the last four years.
And I'm not going to lie. It's a little bit scary to come face to face with children who are a lot easier to face through the walls of the Internet because Oh my God. That little boy in the face mask and head scarf is Archer's age. And then there are the parents, who I find it near impossible to look in the eye. What can I possibly say?
"I wonder what I would do if that was Archer," I said to Scarlett later on.
"You'd be fine,"she said. "You'd bring him here, to St. Jude and they would take care of him."
We then took the monorail across the Mississippi, and ate catfish at the edge of mud island and watched the river move steadily along, as we pushed back and forth on a public swing perched above the river and stared at the stillness of the skyline.
Sunday we packed a picnic and drove a few miles outside of the city, past horse corals and hiking trails until we found the perfect pond and a lone tree ideal for a picnic.
And we scampered and pranced and Scarlett did flips and cartwheels and somersaults. And how the hell is this girl so sick? I mean... look at this crazy bitch?
Today we went to Beale Street and sipped Root Beer floats and watched the blues guitarists ping at their guitars. We saw Knocked Up and laughed our asses off (although we both agreed on feeling unfulfilled with never finding out what the baby's name was... Hello? That's HUGELY important.)
Tomorrow I leave and I wish I could bring Scar home with me to L.A, because it's her home, too. I wish she didn't have to undergo major surgery next week. I wish she didn't have to stay in Memphis, away from her family. Even though it's beautiful here and the fields are always green and the ponds have Lilly pads as big as serving dishes and the way the light catches the trees is like magic.
Maybe if I packed you up real small in my suitcase?
But it isn't possible and that sucks balls. I wish health was something everyone could take for granted, especially Scarlett.
And even though distance is only measured in airplane rides and hours marked by time that changes and stops and fast-forwards, I wish I could bend it and pull her through it. All of her treatments and surgeries and the pain she has to live with-- I wish we could keep it all a joke. Fake tears and the mascara we smeared across our faces with tap water. I wish life was an endless night of mani pedis and making homemade gangsta videos in dark hotel rooms like a couple of little girls.
I wish it could be that easy.
And I wish everyone everywhere could, like me, wake up tomorrow morning and go home.