Wendy is like a tall fairy from a Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has russety hair like I think they probably do.
Wendy is my friend. My friend Wendy is one of those people you don’t know you’re actually tied to by your heartstrings. She is someone I know I knew way before I knew her. I didn’t meet her until last year, but I can guarantee that I have known her since at least the early eighties, in this life. Probably in the pre-earth life, when we were just light intelligence orbs like ghosts whizzing around, Wendy was whizzing around next to me making sure I wasn’t bothering the other whizzers and protecting me from the bully whizzers. I have lots of these side-along whizzers but I wanted to tell you about Wendy because the other day I saw her for the first time since April and I can’t believe how big of a tautly-knotted string she untied from around my heart. A whole string herself, effortlessly, when most people have been helpful this week at just nipping away at assorted strings. I ran into Lanee’s kitchen to see Wendy, and her big eyes watered anxiously at the sight of me, and mine watered right back, and one of those dozen little cords just fell from around the slowly-fading hurt. And she hugged me loosely and I hugged her tightly.
When you meet Wendy, and I hope you will, don’t be taken aback by the fact that she doesn’t hug as tight as you do, if you’re a tight hugger like me, because inside that skinny ribcage of hers is the biggest, tenderest heart I’ve ever met. I know a lot of them. Tender hearts. Tender hearts attract other tender hearts--actually, I would say tender hearts attract everyone because they are chewy and tender.
Like I was getting to, Wendy has a chewy tender heart. Wendy used to enjoy copious amounts of Sunny D while studying in front of the TV in our cozy basement apartment. I would arrive home at four and five in the morning, often blah and often beside myself, to find Wendy with her blanket over her lap, sweats on, eyes partly closed, Wendy-slippers on the floor, TV on low, studying some manual. Or she would arrive home, at four and five in the morning, to find me dinking around with photobooth, in my nightgown, feet numb on the cold linoleum, eating Heather’s cookie dough ice cream. We would talk. About everything. And we never needed to pick at things, we would just talk naturally, in a straight, progressive line. Wendy would look at me and nod, and I would nod back. If it weren’t for Wendy talking to me in her poignant Wendy-way in the middle of the night, or in the hallway at our church, or in the evenings when we would both get home from school, my sophomore year of college may have been much less than pleasant. I remember many a winter evening, sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop pushed up against the napkin holder; I would type with Wendy plopped down next to me holding a family-sized chicken potpie she had warmed from the freezer and a glass of milk. She ate chicken potpies and talked to me. She was good at school, and I don’t like using the word “was” because it sounds like she’s dead, which she isn’t. She is good at school and she always busts out awesome graceful looks whenever she's dressed up. I was jealous. Wendy never fumbled. She seems to think that she fumbles, sometimes, but I believe that everything Wendy says is exactly what needs to come out of her mouth.
The number one reason I admire Wendola is because I often feel like, myself, I say too much. I am always saying too much. About everything. Extra sentences, five adjectives when all I really need is one. Other people, they say too little. Always making excuses for themselves, they clip their conversation and it’s not awesome. Wendy is one who never fumbles. I feel that she always says what needs to be said, what should be said, what can be said, and she stops there. She says exactly what is needed. I just wouldn't do without her.
When I saw her on Thursday, when she was leaving, she firmly said, "Are you going to be OK?" And I knew, when she said that, what she was saying was, "You're going to be OK."
And very suddenly, just as when I saw her, I was. I was already OK, I was ridiculously happy because of Wendy, because of Wendy's capacity to say whatever needs to be said. I said yes. Because I am awesomely OK. Because Wendy always says exactly what I need.
See? Perfectly placed, my whizzing protector friend.