We talked about the elusiveness of high-level success all the time.
“It’s right near me,” Cyn said once, “but it’s just out of reach. It’s floating in my periphery.”
Most of our myriad esoteric conversations took place in our two persimmon-colored overstuffed, scrumfy (scrumptiously comfy, my invention) chairs, with morning coffee or evening wine sitting nearby on the huge slab of oak that served as our coffee table. An equally overstuffed, comfy sofa sat on the other side of the table, beckoning everyone who saw it to stretch out and forget the problems of the world. A petite person could nearly disappear in our furniture. Our beds were super scrumfy, too.
Oh, I haven’t told you about our darling, little hobbit house yet! It was absolutely adorable. Tucked away in a grove of trees in the hills of Glendale, you could easily see Frodo walking in to this part cottage, part living fairy tale. It was painted the cheeriest yellow you could stand without being nauseated, and it had rounded recesses over the rounded, latticed windows. Even the top of the door was rounded.
And……it came with fairly low rent! Cyndi’s mom was in real estate and owned a ton of rental properties. She let her daughter live in this one for a song, and Cyn had a ragtag bunch of odd roommates until I moved in. (Maybe I could be counted as ragtag and odd, too, though?)
Colorful artwork from our multitude of colorful artist friends lined the butter-yellow walls. Little palm trees were tucked into every nook and cranny, and this little hobbit house had plenty of those.
There was no carport, but that’s okay. In the whole time I’ve been in LA, I’ve had to scrape ice off my windshield twice.
We even had a bit of a view from the deck, since we were up a hill a bit. We couldn’t see the ocean, but on a clear day we could see that far out, so I’d imagine I was looking at it. At night we saw lights; it wasn’t anything like the Hollywood lights, but I liked to pretend it was a snippet of them, instead of just downtown Glendale.
Anyway….(Don’t you hate it when people say that? I do, so I take it back!) Here’s one version of our many conversations regarding success (or lack thereof) where one of us would play devil’s advocate to exorcise our holding-back demons.
“Why don’t you want to be an actor?”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do. There’s nothing I want more than to be an actor. Acting and movies help people open their hearts and give them something to think about that they wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. It’s my calling. It’s what I want to do. It’s in my soul.”
“You’d be there if you really wanted to be.”
“I want to be!”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t. Otherwise you’d be there.”
That conversation happened on many occasions, with each of us taking a turn on each side. Sometimes it helped. Here’s another one, which had taken place just a few weeks before she died:
“What’d make it come in for a landing?” I asked her referring to the ever-elusive, circling success, while asking myself at the same time.
“Dunno. Right timing? A better me?”
“Nah. There couldn’t be a better you.” I was in one of those moods—beneficent, which might’ve annoyed the bejesus out of her if she hadn’t been slightly tipsy already. “You’re the best you you are. Besides, it’s not about deserving. Nasty, abusive drunks make it big all the time.”
She took another sip of wine. And two. And three. Wait a minute—why didn’t I see this at the time?
“Invite it in,” I continued. “Make it welcome. Serve it tea and crumpets.”
She nearly spit out her wine. “Tea and crumpets?”
“Well, if not that, what does it want? Beer and brats? Champagne and caviar?”
The wine was starting to make itself known in her system and speech. “Maybe it’s an agreement I made before I came in to this lifetime—that success will weasel away from me this time around. This one isn’t my lifetime to be successful because I’m here to experience what trying and trying and trying feels like.”
“I can’t imagine making that kind of agreement.”
“Maybe I’m just supposed to light things up no matter what I do.”
“What about people who never, ever find the ‘one’—or the two or three if they’re into that kind of thing. Some people are lonely their whole, entire lives.”
“And some people are lonelier inside a sad marriage than some people are on their own. But wouldn’t folks be married if they really, really wanted to be?”
“Wouldn’t I be a star if I really wanted to be?”
“Maybe you don’t have to be a star—be a starburst! Light up the world everywhere you go.”
She downed the rest of her wine.
Maybe if I hadn’t used the tea-and-crumpets metaphor, she’d still be alive.
Yes, of course I’m being facetious, but not about this….If only she hadn’t taken me so literally about being a starburst.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish