Thank you, my hippie shake, hyper-creative girlfriend. The one who liked me even though I was preppie and shy. This photo explains a lot, we’re at a Halloween party in Marilyn’s studio. I went as Jan Brady and she went as a three-breasted Martian. We have an unlikely friendship, and I appreciate so much the time we spent together mixing two styles and having fun.
Marilyn and I met in college, she was an older sorority sister. We got to know each other much better after graduation. We lived in the same city and she washed and cut my hair for years. Marilyn knew how to cook too and she taught me how to make homemade pasta and we’d sit around the chiminea on her patio and drink wine and talk about everything and nothing.
I’m not quite sure what exactly I brought to the friendship, I just knew that I loved spending time with Marilyn. She was always buzzing around on an inspired discovery. She learned how to weld and made metal furniture, sculptures, and architectural pieces for businesses. Her house was an evolving work of art, with rooms changing colors, antiques moving in and out, curtains as doors, knocking down walls. Her style was something uniquely Bohemian, whimsical and dreamy. I loved watching her creative process, admiring her handiwork, spending girl time together. I enjoyed listening to her views on what was going on around us. I learned what the color ‘Dennis green’ looks like. I got comfortable with quirky.
I realize that most artists, and Marilyn is an artist, struggle with living in the little boxes and formulas of society. People like Marilyn can’t be in a box and be themselves or express their God-given talents. It broke my heart when she moved to follow her dreams, and get lost, and find herself again. But I understood, and wished her happiness and prayed for her to find space to create the things she had in her imagination.
And I’m so pleased to say Marilyn and I recently reconnected. Even though we’re apart and I can’t wander through her studio or banter about what she’s thinking about, I can still see photos of the finished product and marvel at how many ways she is beautiful. I’m thankful for my friend who appreciated having a Jan Brady type around. Because I appreciate Martian types.
Musical pairing: “Drops of Jupiter,” Train, 2001 and “Hippy, Hippy, Shake,” Beatles version, 1963.