“Rym….oh my God….oh my God…”
“Lis? What is it? What’s wrong?”
“The porn…the scratch tickets…shooting up….who the fuck did I have living with me? Who was this person living in my house?? I have to pack his things. I have to….I can’t breathe. Oh my God I can’t breathe and we just got married. What do I tell people? What do I do? How did I not see this coming…”
“I’ll be right there, hang on. Don’t forget to breathe and I am coming.”
And he did. My dearest friend who rode the train with me, who made me laugh and was at my wedding only two weeks earlier, came within minutes to my house. He held the bag because I was shaking. He cracked jokes to get me to stop hyperventilating. He threw away the stacks and stacks of porn catalogues and scratch tickets that Sean had hidden in the drawer. He let me pause and cry, trying to figure out what went so ‘horribly pear-shaped”, as he would later call it.
Rym was my best friend. We spent that summer seeing Transformers, going to the beach, grilling in the backyard, and having fun. I hadn’t had fun in almost 5 years. For 5 years I lived with an addict who was so unpredictable I thought I was the cause of everything bad that happened. I doubted myself constantly and made his happiness the center of my world because this was temporary right? Someday he would get the sobriety thing and get better, right? And I will be off the hook and be allowed to enjoy my own life, right?
That was never to happen as Sean’s addiction progressed further and further into darkness. Rym was my light in the darkness. We would go to the parades in Plymouth and laugh ourselves silly about wearing turkey hats and gravy boats. Tofurkey was a huge hit and we giggled about the pirates we would see walking around. We ate bags of kettle corn, went to Cabbyshack to have chowder and took Liz to see the Clydesdales (“Francis!”). He taught me that no matter what happened, I would be okay.
At the Early Bird, we would sit together in a corner and giggle about Diane’s whooping. Sometimes the phone would ring at my desk and I would hear “Oh OHOHOH Ohhhhhh!” and start laughing. We would guess the moment when the meeting would ‘Jump the Shark” and play “6 Degrees to Sobriety”. Yes, it is very similar to the 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon game. Meetings were a hell of a good time in those days, and we also saw our fair share of pain too. We carried each other through it. His bankruptcy and inability to see his adopted daughter weighed heavily on him. We both gave our best to State Street.
Tomorrow, he and his beautiful girlfriend are getting on a plane and flying to Boston for a visit. The timing could not have been better. My spirits have been so low with this job situation, and when I allow myself to think about what my life was like back then, I sit here and cry. It was hard, but worth every second. I hated failing at marriage once again, but it gave me a friendship I had never known before. A true honest to God blessing in the shape of Rym MacDonald. I valued his opinion on everything. I still do. Sometimes when I really need him I will call, but Melissa has taken his place at my side when I need picking up or a good laugh. She gets me like he did, and like Chris sometimes does.
My former best friend in high school and some adult years no longer has anything to do with me. It’s a great example of when people outgrow one another. I have friends but none that I feel I could call at a moments notice. Rym was that person for me for many years. He was the person I called when I needed a friend. I know that my friendship with Rym is timeless, and no matter how many miles away he is, I can talk to him. He will call me back if I leave a message, which is more than I can say for many of my friends. Sorry guys, but it’s true. Check your phones.
Today my life is very different from where it was in 2007. I have more children to take care of, failed at another marriage, and don’t have a job or prospects for one to speak of. My unemployment is running out and my fear is choking me. Huge difference from the pain I felt at being rejected for a bag of heroin. At least I was working then and had more years ahead of me. Today, my hope was lost as I waited to hear back from recruiters. The highlight was my former SSgA manager coming to see me and us going out for lunch. But when his car left my driveway, I felt that old life slip away and once again did my best to get out of the hole. The hope I have for tomorrow is I get to see my dear friend in person. I get to laugh again like I havent laughed in ages. I get to see the man who pulled me out of the darkest time of my life, with hopes that I can do it again.
I am so grateful for your friendship, Rym. I cannot wait to see you.