Do you know that horrible and dark feeling when you’re walking up a set of stairs and you know there’s one more step, except there isn’t, and for a brief, harrowing moment, even with your foot just inches off the floor, you’re falling, helpless; what once was an absolute truth to you, ceases to exist in the blink of an eye. Know that feeling?
Yeah, friendship is nothing like that.
True friendship, while sometimes a bit harrowing (especially with friends like Zelma), is a beautiful, stable and permanent thing.
Let me demonstrate for you.
Picture if you will, a swamp. Not a big Florida swamp, more like a smallish area of knee-deep water in the Finnish woods. Now picture two girls, about nine or ten years old, playing at the swamp, jumping from one little grassy island to another. Ziva is the one in orange jeans and Zelma is the one with pigtails.
Now picture a cat. She belongs to Zelma, but in reality, she belongs to no one. She comes and goes as she pleases, and only seeks out the company of people when she can't be bothered to catch her own dinner. She's a tabby, and she's sitting by a tree, watching the girls play. To anyone watching her she appears bored, which would make sense, because she is.
She’s not really paying attention to what the girls are saying -- a big mistake. The girls are getting excited now, voices raised. They’re scrambling around, trying to find a suitable piece of wood. They find one; a two-foot long board, and they test it to see if it floats. It does, as wood has tendency to do.
Ziva, in her orange jeans, is animated, gesturing and laughing, plotting. Zelma is laughing, too, but it’s not clear whether she’s laughing at Ziva, or with Ziva. Either way, she’s clearly onboard with whatever it is Ziva’s up to.
Ziva grabs the cat and Zelma holds the board steady. Onto the board goes the cat and out into the swamp goes the board. Laugher and panicked meows mingle in the air, an awkward marriage of happy and horrified.
The girls are watching the amazing sailing cat, slowly traveling across the vast ocean. The cat isn’t as happy, of course. She’s frantic, tail bushy with adrenaline. She’s gone from lazily enjoying her life to survival mode in five seconds flat.
On solid ground, Ziva and Zelma are too busy enjoying the spectacle to consider terms such as “animal cruelty” or “horribly mean little girls”, and they scream with laughter as the poor cat makes a jump for it, narrowly misses the dry grass and ends up with a very wet tail.
Back in the now, Ziva and Zelma have a developed a fashion sense and a conscience, but one thing remains the same; whether the suggestion is to run away to Sweden, get drunk in a cave, or put on an impromptu flute concert in a park, the other one is always game.
And that’s what friendship is; never second-guessing each other’s decisions, always being there for them, and sometimes simply joining them in the crazy.
This post is part of Nicky and Mike’s 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge. Today’s prompt is Friendship. Go check out We Work For Cheese for a list of the other participants. *
When you said you'd developed a fashion sense I thought you were going to tell us you still wear orange pants. A true friend would have told you to ditch them years ago. By the way, how come all you Finnish folks have names that start with "Z"?ReplyDelete
Hey Z, you have a good definition of friendship there, and you're lucky to have a friend like Zelma. IndigoReplyDelete
ohhhh poor kitty.... that would be one of the don't tell things on the one quote on mine... :)ReplyDelete
Ziva.....you captured trye friendship in the last lines....good post.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing
I remember reading years ago about you and Zelma taking boat trips to Sweden with scary Russian lesbians. I think you ought to do it again as soon as possible. But no cats. I'm not sure the two of you can be trusted on the ocean with cats.ReplyDelete
This is a beautifully written post, Ziva. I love the tone of it -- what I think is third-person omniscient voice, although I never took a grammar class. It's perfect for this sort of slightly wicked remembrance about youth and friendship.
You captured the definition of friendship. Love it! Be careful, though. Your current cat may be a reincarnation of that poor tabby. Just when you least expect....you're the one floating on deadwood in a pond full of crocodiles.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Mike! I can't believe you remember those posts about the boat trips to Sweden.. Hell, I can't believe I actually wrote about those boat trips. I must've been crazy.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Barb. :)ReplyDelete
I'm truly lucky to have some amazing friends. :)ReplyDelete
Zelma didn't have a fashion sense either, she probably wore pink polkadot pants and had no clue my orange pants weren't particularly stylish. I clearly needed friends that weren't colour blind.ReplyDelete
You know, it wouldn't surprise me at all, Darth Vader is EVIL.ReplyDelete
Oh, Ziva!!! This post is amazing. I always enjoy reading about your friendship with Zelma. And because of your descriptions, I feel like I was there, watching the two of you play together.ReplyDelete
I'll be happy to join you and Zelma in the crazy any day!ReplyDelete
Well written - and you are blessed to have such a friend as Zelma.ReplyDelete
Although I feel for that poor cat, I think finding a friend like that -- a partner in crime so to say -- is a great thing. Excellent story. :)ReplyDelete
Um, where is Zelma during these crazy photo and writing challenges?!?ReplyDelete
That's a very good question! I've told her she needs to start blogging in English, but I think she likes it when people think she's my imaginary friend..ReplyDelete
It sure is a beautiful, and sometimes slightly dangerous, thing. ;) Thank you, P.J.ReplyDelete
I truly am. :)ReplyDelete
That would be awesome!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Meleah! If you ever come to Finland, we're all going to have so much fun together. ;)ReplyDelete
I take it Pepsi has not read this yet. I loved this, Lemmikki. It's absolutely wonderful to catch these glimpses into the early life of a cat torturer.ReplyDelete
This is great but I need to know: Is your current undying love for cats really just a ruse to make back all the karma that you lost when you stuck a cat on a raft?ReplyDelete
"Simply joining them in the crazy". I like that. I really enjoyed this tribute to your friend. I recognize the love and comradery through the fondness of your words. I did have to cringe a little at the plight of that poor cat.ReplyDelete
Yeah, we try not to talk about the poor cat... We do feel a tiny bit bad about what we did. But she escaped unscathed, and Zelma and I wouldn't do it again. Probably.ReplyDelete
You got me. *hangs head in shame* But Pepsi and Yoda get all the love they could ever ask for, and I hardly ever torture them by sticking them in the shower and washing them.ReplyDelete
Hah, I don't let the cats read my blog, they'd kill me in my sleep.ReplyDelete
Awesome, yes? ;)ReplyDelete
That would rule.ReplyDelete