Week Four-Kim, Doug, and Cary.

I met Kim a solid five years ago. I was so happy to just be in contact with another person who wasn’t scared to use the word “feminist” to describe herself. Maybe in that way, in the beginning of our story together, she was my Dream Girl, this idea of a Best Friend I had been waiting for. She’s been a steady part of my life in Fresno—so much so that despite how our lives have grown to differ (she, re-married youth educator with a five-month old son; me, bitter research desk worker with a bad art habit), I call her parents my “Fresno mom and dad”.

I think that part of me has always been in love with Kim. I want to be that giving, that compassionate, that dedicated to my dreams and ideals. I breathed so deep when I pulled up to her house. Even though things have changed so much for her in the past year thanks to baby and husband and new house, those changes feel right for her; so right, in fact, that they feel right to me.

Doug is a dispatcher for police in Selma. It amazes me how much they wanted this together and how tough it was, and how they fought for it. When I see them I can’t help but think of this long, seemingly arduous but breathlessly sweet backstory; of all of the emails Kim and I sent; of the phone calls and text messages. Doug has become a good friend to me too. The situation wasn’t tough, I take it back. They are tough.

Now they have Cary. He’s my godson and yesterday I thought I had found a few answers for my project. I spend a few hours with him, bouncing him up in the air and watching him smile and cry and raise his arms to be picked up. My head is letting loose a constant stream of cursewords, a reaction to the disbelief that I am able to feel such love for him. What Kim and Doug must feel. It blows my mind.

Jenn comes over and Kim and her do a photoshoot relating to Kim’s loves: this house, and roller derby. I play with Cary the whole time and wonder what it would be like to have a baby. Cary’s cousin. That love is so tantalizing. I’ve never felt so pure with anyone else. There are lights everywhere and Kim is standing over the kitchen sink, cleaning a bottle with a brush, but her position is risqué and she’s smiling her huge beautiful smile, teeth shining.

Jenn says to us that she is lucky to have friends who have good ideas and are willing to carry out her photoshoots. I mentioned something about artists needing to help each other out, how it’s cyclical. Kim says she’s not an artist, but I insist she is. Her life is art. I can think of few people more inspiring.

I tell her later, when she’s feeding Cary in a recliner, and I am laying on the couch in the sleeping bag her mom gave me, that I have never gone from feeling so wholly isolated to an environment so familiar in so quick a time. She looks at me in that way she does that assures me it’s fine, and she’s listening, and dude, if you want to talk more, I’m totally going to get it.
She always gets it.

I am lucky to know such extremes.

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