Saturday, December 8, 2007

Exit Strategy

My best friend Starr Ann slipped into bed with me last night, right as I was about to fall asleep. Love when she does that.

We were getting situated, cuddling up, and Starr Ann said, "Got a little problem with Jodie."

So I acted all put off, pushed her away from me, and said, "Yuck. Your girlfriend's holding out and you're crawling in here for a little help? Thanks, but no thanks, Starr Ann. It hasn't been that long since Celia Susan was here."

Starr Ann laughed, but she rolled over on top of me real fast. "You know, Margo, Jodie still thinks you and me have unfinished business."

Dang, but Starr Ann has strong legs. Once she gets a good thigh lock on you, you're pretty much stuck until you can trick her into letting you up. I said, "You're unique, Starr Ann, you know that?"

"Wonderfully singular, unique? Or peculiar, unique?" She actually pushed her pelvis into me on each of the 'uniques.'

"Wonderfully peculiar, unique." I tried one more time to buck her off. "We should have tried the rodeo, dammit. I could've made a fortune putting you up on broncs and bulls."

Starr Ann giggled, but she didn't move off. I said, "Ok, what's up with Jodie?"

"Don't know, exactly, but I think it has something to do with Lane's enlistment."

"Dang, you're serious, aren't you? I thought Jodie'd just been a little scarce lately because of being busy with the book."

Starr Ann's voice was taking on that hushed, Starr Ann whisperiness. "She's really thrown by it, Margo. And she's kinda cut off and distant about everything."

I put my arms up around Starr Ann and pulled her down for a full-body hug. "Thrown, as in?"

"Thrown, as in she's real mad and doesn't want to even see or talk to Lane."

Starr Ann wasn't doing anything with her hips by then, was just lying there being a lump. "Then we'll work on this, baby. First thing in the morning, I'm going over there and having a talk with Ms. Jodie Diamond."

Starr Ann reanimated. "You will? I just don't want Lane to leave for the Army without..." Then Starr Ann started jerking real hard and I thought she was laughing. But it ended up she was crying! And Starr Ann never cries.

By the time we got through, we had it figured out that Jodie was the only one of us who's not in denial. Starr Ann and I finally admitted to each other we're terrified of what could lie ahead for Lane in the Army, and we've decided to go together to Jodie's and talk it out.

Anyway, we were past the crying and the talking, and had made that decision about going to Jodie's and Starr Ann was still nice and firmly in place. Thoughts of mortality transform so effortlessly into the need to feel alive.

Starr Ann raised herself up a little and looked down on me. She smiled that one Starr Ann smile. "Know what, Margo? I bet we end up saving each other until our old age."

"You mean after our breasts fall down and go boom?"

Starr Ann cracked up. "Maybe, but that'll hardly matter." She got up then, went over to the window, and climbed out. Starr Ann has never left my bedroom any other way. Always goes right out the window.

Anyway, Lane leaves for Basic Training on December 12.