-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero at PinkyGuerrero, Pinky, Janika, Basically Clueless & this blog PinkFeldspar, in that order.
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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Friday, April 2, 2021

it's that time again


I miss her.

:edit:: All my posts over the years about her, or because of her. (As I find them I'll add them to this list.)





'87 2-6-20

brain storm 3-17-20

the memory 3-19-20





so much time 3-31-20


that 4-3-20

tomorrow 4-4-20

frens 4-9-20


But before all that came this next. I struggled with writing it out back then and then forgot about it for years as I wrote the other stuff. Pinky and (Blue)Jacky were still at odds and not sharing with each other, and it took us 5 years to finally integrate and process. Overlapped we are pinkybluejacky, which is where my original pinterest address came from, unawares to me at the time.

blue rabbit, copy from 4-19-15

11 p.m., and my world ended, just like that. I still exist in that moment because I neatly sliced my heart right out and tossed it aside, hung up the phone, and went back to bed. I have never moved from that moment, and if I wake up tomorrow and it never happened, I will easily be able to believe that, because I never felt it.

I remember my mom hovering nearby looking anxious, asking if she could do anything as I hung up. I just shook my head and walked away, leaving her completely helpless in her own stunned silence. I can stand in her shoes now as a mother myself and see that was our last opportunity to really touch each other. I cut her off as neatly as I had just sliced my own heart out, and I never again even thought to share a problem or concern with her for personal comfort.

Then when I got back into bed, I turned my head off and didn’t give it another thought for three years. It simply hadn’t happened. The next day or so I cleaned out everything my best friend had ever written or given me and burned all of it. There was quite a lot, since she had written letters to me three times a week without fail ever since I’d moved away three years earlier, plus all the drawings and stories we did together since the fifth grade. I didn’t cry. I watched the smoke go up into the sky and didn’t feel. That part of me was over. I knew no other way to deal with the words I’d heard. I buried them so deep it was like she’d never existed.

The first time it hit me was when I was about five months pregnant and suddenly realized I didn’t have a best friend to tell any of it to. My world stopped again, I froze for a few seconds, and then once again neatly chopped off the parts of me that managed to bring that thought up at all, and went on with my life.

The second time it hit me, another couple of years later, my first marriage was teetering on a dangerous edge with the possibility of the kind of consequences that could wind up on the news, and the timing was awful. I was at work making sales calls, trying to shove my worries down, my steel grip slipping in a way I’d never felt before, and with a whoosh and no warning I panicked and started making long distance calls to her dad’s old work and home numbers, trying to track down any trace of what might be left of her having been real in my life, reaching only recordings that the numbers had been disconnected. I had information services scour the city for his business name, only to hear that it no longer existed. A giant hole opened up and swallowed all my insides as I gently put the phone back down and realized he must have had to leave. How could he continue there, in that kind of grief? Of course he’d have packed up and left everything. She was the only child he’d had custody of and raised himself.

I went through the next couple of weeks after that in a state of shock, disconnected from my immediate reality while I conned my way out of a nasty future with an unstable person to save my only child. Again, I am still caught in all those moments, never having moved past them, preserved in a crystal clear story etched in beautiful glass in my mind, never worn, never shattered. No best friend to share my fears with, but then, she’d had no one to share hers with, either. How could I be so selfish, and again, I sliced out all the parts of me that had panicked, tossed them to the wind, and simply just changed my life. I say simply. Of course it wasn’t simple, but I couldn’t feel it, could I? Thanks to her memory suddenly interrupting its way in, I was able to execute a plan and walk a path that could have one misstep tearing holes in the fabric of my family’s spacetime.

Skip a couple more years. I was in Phoenix hanging out with a man who thought he was falling in love with me. He was a freshly divorced pot smoking painter in overalls for hire and I was an unfeeling bong smoking alcoholic working overnights in a hospital, so I hardly took him seriously. But one late night walking an empty street and looking at lights he asked me if I’d ever made love to a woman, and my world stopped. I saw her golden hair. I’d never had another friend with golden hair. I’d grown up around redheads and some black haired family, and my own hair was mousy brown. I realized how much I had loved her golden hair, and I said there was one girl, but she’s gone now. I didn’t tell him I’d never thought of having sex with her, but that night I didn’t slice my heart back out or shut my head back off. I just stared at the lights and remembered her golden hair, ruining our date because I stopped talking.

More time passed. I had moved back home with my family, and I’d become very sick. I had visions, hallucinations, dreams, and the blue rabbit came to me.

I was about ten, standing on the hot dusty driveway to our house in New Mexico. The sun was blazing down, the air was hot and still, the prickly scents of sagebrush and juniper filled my mind. A giant hare grazed on the other side of the fence. Hares are like big lanky rabbits. This one was the size of a small dog, and the most brilliant royal blue I’d ever seen. I couldn’t help staring, and I stood very still so I wouldn’t spook it away. It squeezed under the fence and grazed its way toward me. I held my breath. One more hop over and there it was, sitting on the dusty driveway only a few feet in front of me, frozen still, staring back at me with a yellow eye. The other eye was on the other side, you see.

We both froze in place like that, locked in our stare. Brilliant royal blue filled my mind, and the yellow eye seemed full of words that I couldn’t hear. Dare I even breathe? I whispered, “Who are you?” The hare twitched once, bore its yellow eye into my brain, and abruptly hopped away. I woke up.

Sometime later, maybe a year, I dreamed of a brilliant royal blue circus pony being led past me. More than anything I wanted to follow that pony, but I couldn’t keep up and it was soon lost to sight, weaving in and out of other circus animals and people moving around and setting up. I woke up.

Perhaps another six months or so later, I dreamed of a brilliant royal blue dog, a little on the big side, like a wolfhound. I was sitting alone, and the dog walked up to me and put its head in my hand, so we sat together and I talked to it. I woke up.

A number of years went by. One dreary Christmas week I was out shopping and unexpectedly ran into a book with a blue dog on the cover, looking at me with its yellow eyes. The book was called A Blue Dog Christmas, by George Rodrigue, and I bought it on the spot. Things were awhirl at home, so several days passed before I got the book out and read it one day while I was alone. I didn’t expect it to devastate me.

Blue dog has become a pop culture icon since then, but when the book first came out, I learned the story behind an artist depicting the legend of the cajun werewolf with an interpretation that wound up expressing his sadness over a beloved dog that had passed on. I learned there are many stories and legends about seeing loved ones after death, about blue being a dominant color in dreams like these, that some believe we are visited with messages.

Keep my three dreams in mind for later. Now I will tell you how she died.

I don’t know much more than I was told. My sister’s best friend continued to stay in contact with her as well after we moved to a new school in another state. After I graduated I took a road trip with my uncle and got to visit with my friend a couple of times. She was amazing and gifted and beautiful, so self assured for her young age, and after three and a half years of not having seen her, I felt timid and out of place with her being so grown up and capable, although she breezed around like she didn’t notice my shyness. She treated me like favorite family and drove me all over town, to her dad’s bakery, shopping, her house. She was a heady presence to be around, like finding oneself lost in a cottage garden in roses so thick that you can’t imagine air existing without always smelling like roses from then on. I was a simpleton in my own bubble world, and she filled my world with a joie de vivre that no one since ever could.

Four months later my mom woke me up late in the night and said I had a phone call. I couldn’t imagine who would call me, especially at that hour, and I had no warning at all. My sister’s friend said things about one of the girls surviving but my friend hadn’t, that she was dead by the time the police found her, and she thought I ought to know. I said thank you for calling and shut down.

(skipped stuff that needs clarification due to dissociated memory lapses)

When I shut my head down, I didn’t realize that allowed me to take my blinders off. My vision changed. I started noticing things around me. I kept my stone face on, and ventured alone into the night, not even looking for a reason to live.


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