The Beginning

It was February 25, 1998. I was living in an apartment with my oldest childhood friend Sarah in Forest Hills, NY. Our entire childhood together, we both had the dream of moving to NY and becoming performers. Now we were roommates, and on our way. Sort of. I was a Tour Guide at Radio City Music Hall, a part-time waitress in a hole in the wall Irish pub in the city, and I was auditioning now and then for acting work. I hadn’t yet begun my stand-up comedy pursuit; and my personal life was on a downward spiral. About a year and a half before, I had been through a hugely traumatic event that I had shared with absolutely nobody, except for a very rude and unhelpful “counselor” on an anonymous hotline one desperate evening. I will get into what happened to me later on in this book; but what’s important right now is that something had happened; and it had changed me. I was no longer trusting of men, and I had become very insecure and unsure of myself as a person. Im not sure why I didnt share any of this with Sarah;  or my parents; or a friend; or anyone; but I didnt. Continue reading “The Beginning” »

Internal Error

You know how on TV shows, in films, and on really bad, death-related, Lifetime Movies of The Week starring Meredith Baxter Birney or Tori Spelling; there is always that scene after the loved one tragically dies where the person left behind has an epic, emotional breakdown? This breakdown, in Hollywood-land, usually happens one of a few different ways: Continue reading “Internal Error” »

NOLA, Part One: You’re Fat

(originally posted November 1, 2011)

One thing that has become evident throughout this whole horrific ordeal of losing Don, is that I have some pretty amazing friends.

Two of those great friends are Marina and Dave. They are married; and they met one another over 20 years ago; in our college days at Adelphi. Marina was an Acting Major, like me, and Dave was a music major and brilliant pianist. I was friends with both of them separately. I remember one time on campus, Marina asking me about my friend Dave, and saying she thought that he was cute. Dates were set up, and fate was put into play. Once they got together, they were pretty much inseparable. Marina continued acting, and Dave switched from being a music major to being a med.student! It was literally an overnight change for him. Perhaps he had thought about it for a long time inside his own head; but for the rest of us; it was completely random. He had long hair and smoked cigarettes and played Jazz and Rock music; and then one day he told all of us: “I think I want to be a doctor.” The next day he cut his hair off, quit smoking, and changed his major. Now he’s a doctor at NY Presbyterian, and Marina is his wife. She is still an actress, and Dave continues to play piano as a hobby. The piano that sits in their home is played more often, though, by their son, Ben. They have another boy named Jake; and they are both cute as hell.

Continue reading “NOLA, Part One: You’re Fat” »

Dear Boo Bear … (A Letter to my Husband)

originally posted September 6, 2011
Dear Boo Bear,

I am very grumpy today; and it is multiplied by not having you here to whine and bitch to when I get home. First of all, I have my stupid period. I used to love how you would refer to my period as simply “friend.” The way you used to say it, in that sarcastic tone, was so adorable. You would always seem to know when it was coming too. My back would be hurting or I would complain about a particularly bad headache, and you would say “Well Boo, friend should be arriving any day now!” And you were usually right too. You always made fun of me because I would always get “friend” on the day of a very important event. “What is it with you and your stupid friend? You ALWAYS get that damn thing on the worst possible day!” I had friend on the day you proposed to me in NYC. I had it on our wedding day. And guess what arrived the morning of your funeral, as I was crying in the restroom before the service began? Friend! Continue reading “Dear Boo Bear … (A Letter to my Husband)” »

SURPRISE!!! I’m Dead!

(Originally posted September 26, 2011)

Today is my Birthday. It is my 40th birthday, and I had been making a big deal about it the whole year. I always do. Birthdays have always been a huge thing in my family. My parents always made us feel really important and special as kids on our birthday. When I was little, mom would make homemade cakes in the shapes of Mickey Mouse or Raggedy Ann, and all my friends would come over for cake and ice cream and an awesome party. Dad would put together the bike or the new Playskool record player they bought for me, and there were lots of laughs and fun. I always kept that spirit as an adult; every single year. I love the idea that there is a special day set aside for every person on this earth; the day they were born. It is truly something to acknowledge and celebrate. Continue reading “SURPRISE!!! I’m Dead!” »

Mirrors

originally posted on September 4, 2011

So many random thoughts going through my head this morning. About Don, about life, about us. I am having so much trouble adjusting, accepting, living with this new reality. I still don’t want it to be true. I don’t want to have this new life without my husband. I hate this new life that I have to grow into slowly, and take time with. I am getting so tired of all the advice. On one hand, people are constantly telling me how this is going to take a long time; how it might be years and years until I am ever happy again; and even then; I will never ever be the same. On the other hand; some people act as if I should certainly be moving forward by now. Hell, its been almost two months! I appreciate people and hate people all at the same time right now. I need people, but I need to be alone. When I’m alone, I cry like hell and often feel like there is no hope; like it will never ever be better. Continue reading “Mirrors” »

Irene

originally written on 8/28/11

Was jolted awake this morning, not by Sammy pawing at my face as usual, but by water. Dripping. On my head. Specifically, on my eyelids and forehead and onto my pillow. Got up and took a closer look, only to realize Don’s entire side of the bed was soaked in water. His pillows, comforter, everything. After managing to get almost 3 hours of Tylenol PM-aided sleep, I guess my head had wandered over to his side of the bed unknowingly, and the result was being woken up by what felt like a heavy drippy faucet to the face. Continue reading “Irene” »

Don Would Have Loved This Sandwich

Ever since Don died, I have this weird feeling inside me that is a bit tough to describe. It is an overall feeling of guilt, and it happens immediately after anything that is even mildly pleasant or enjoyable. It happens at least once a day, and most time it happens multiple times a day, and it results in my tearing up and sometimes silently crying. It is such a strange thing, because it takes things, events, experiences, that are normally joyful and happy, and turns them into something incredibly sad and uncomfortable. I don’t know if this is a normal way to feel after someone dies, I’ve never heard anyone talking about it before, so I’m not sure; but it’s not a feeling of comfort because it feels like you are being robbed of something wonderful because you no longer know how to enjoy things anymore. Continue reading “Don Would Have Loved This Sandwich” »

Eleven

 

:You know how sometimes, after the death of your husband, he comes to you in a dream that is soooo intense and sooo real, you can actually feel or hear or touch or smell him, even minutes and hours and days after you wake up? Have you ever felt something so palpable, so organic, that it stayed on your heart indefinately? No? Me neither. At least, not until last night. Last night – my husband was here. I felt him. This was my dream:

I was inside of a Best Buy, and I was in the movie section and picked up “This is Spinal Tap” and slowly started sobbing; because that is one of Don’s absolute favorite movies. I kept thinking of him always quoting from that, and Caddyshack, and Blazing Saddles. As I was sobbing, a large hand touched me on my shoulder and I turned around. It was Don. He was in one of his favorite shirts; a t-shirt we had bought the very first time I took him to the US Open tennis tournament. It said: “You call that a serve? Take that back to New Jersey!” I didn’t think it was that funny, but he found it hilarious and wore it all the time while playing tennis. Anyway, in the dream, I turned around and looked into his beautiful blue eyes and sobbed even harder. Continue reading “Eleven” »

CornNuts

I used to love CornNuts. You know those incredibly hard, toasted pieces of corn that have some sort of cheesy flavoring on them that I can’t quite place, but is utter deliciousness? Well, I enjoy them. I remember in 2nd grade, Sarah Chamberlin used to bring CornNuts in a little baggie to school for her afternoon snack. I used to get so jealous that she got to have CornNuts and I didn’t. I am sure I could have just gone home and asked my mom to please pack CornNuts in my lunch too, but for some reason I didn’t. Maybe I just enjoyed being over-dramatic about the whole thing, and being able to say: “Its not FAAAIIIRRR!!! Sarah has corn nuts! I want CornNuts toooo!!!” Either way, from being envious of Sarah and her CornNuts, I grew up to be an avid Corn Nut eater. I would buy them in those little bags and chomp on them furiously, almost daring them to make each of my teeth fall out one by one with their baffling hard texture and crunch. Continue reading “CornNuts” »