It’s said that “like attracts like and that opposites attract” in the final days of 2018, two very depressed women with different personalities attracted one another. They met during a warm day that December; the younger one was walking with her terrier poodle mix when she picked up on an instinct to look up from the book she was reading. She suddenly found herself transfixed in the enchantment of a perfectly groomed yard that attracted butterflies and birds. Guarding this little garden of Eden, we’re two dogs, a pomeranian, and what appeared to be another toy-poodle mix that completed the allure of the most inviting home on the block.
The younger woman heard a slightly cheerful welcome, muffled in some sneezing and sniffles. From the bushes appeared a 60+ woman, holding trimming scissors. She quickly followed the hello with “don’t worry, it’s just allergies.” This was the beginning of a friendship till death did them part, only 5 months later.
The two women were very different in many ways, from their 22 year age gap, race, and personality types, but they found unity within their common depression, love for dogs, and hatred for 45. On the Eve of Valentine’s Day of 2019, they made plans to hang out with their dogs at the charming home in Berkeley that the woman inherited from her parents. A Berkeley native in her childhood home yet missing her life back in New York.
During their Galantines hangout, the Berkeley native brought out her finest Whiskey and played some great throwbacks, e.g., Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, Johnny Cash, Alanis Morissette. As they sipped on their drinks, chatting their lives away, artichoke slowly cooked on the stove. It was the most relaxing Galentines the younger woman had ever had; according to the Berkeley Native, it was because she was boy crazy, and this particular time she didn’t have to worry about the illusion of making it memorable with a man.
The young one was definitely chattier, and as she kept sipping on her Whiskey, she kept rambling until she had to get up for the bathroom. As she made her way to the toilet, she knew she was in trouble. Her head spun uncontrollably, and her legs felt weak. She had not felt drunk in ages, as she didn’t like the feeling of losing control. When she got back to her new friend, she shared her drunken state. The Berkeley Native, as old as her own mother, said, “…don’t worry, I have something that will help.” Suddenly in front of her drunken eyes were four lines of blow. Trusting her older friend, she did a line that nearly caused her heart to stop. Luckily it didn’t, and after an hour, they had artichoke for dinner as they watched Pulp Fiction.
The day after, the Berkeley Native apologized for the blow as she’s never seen someone with an adverse reaction. They both laughed it off and continued being friends. A few months later, the Berkeley Native was diagnosed with stage 4-Cancer, and during the last months of her life, she relied on her new friend for help with her dogs and emergency appointments. During that time, she expressed her regret for wanting to die during her bouts of depression. In the final days of her life, she said to her younger friend, “I regret not letting love in, I am mad that I won’t feel hugs again.” She hated hugs, yet it was something her younger friend always greeted her with. The Berkeley native passed on her new friend’s birthday. There were 100+ people at her memorial, yet she lived her life alone, plagued by loneliness. The Berkeley Native’s sister said to her new friend, “you were my sister’s last friend and the one person she felt seen by during her final months of life.”