Monica and Rachel were my mother and sister just after I had quit opiates. I can't tell you how many times they fed me, or kept me over at their house when I was obviously having major issues. Once I had been up all night praying and came to their house raving about visions I was having of the future- they didn't call the hospital, they didn't call the cops- they gave me tea, nursed me through my raving, got some food in me, loved me and calmed me down. As I got better, we'd all hang out and shoot the shit, smoking marijuana in Monica's backyard as she painted on her back porch. We all grew together starting in the spring. We would compare our 'babies' often and I have fond memories of us examining large green leaves in the sun with a magnifying glass. Monica gave me extra shrimp when they got Chinese takeout because she knew I loved them. She laughed with me often and often told me, "You have much to learn, young Grasshopper." She was the first and only person to ever call me that.
I thought that Monica and Rachel would be my friends for life. Apparently this was not meant to be.
Monica suffered from depression and I suspect she was bi-polar. I know she had major childhood trauma and various body issues, so intellectually I know why it happened. Clinical depression has now killed two of my friends in the form of suicide, and I'm really starting to hate the condition.
So, the moment I heard that she died, my world skipped a moment in spinning, and the bottom of my stomach felt as though it were dropped unceremoniously on a dirty glacier. A few minutes later, I started to get a red welt just above my clit on the clitoral hood. I thought it was a regular breakout at first, but then the condition progressed, became very painful and itchy and multiplied. A visit to the Dr. confirmed that I have herpes- a condition I tested negative for last year, and thought I had managed to avoid. It turns out my last lover, Kevin, was assymptomatic, didn't know he had it and gave it to me. It comes out in times of extreme stress, and evidentally the bad news was a trigger for me.
From an intellectual level, I realize that given my sexual history I am extremely fortunate that this has only happened to me now. In the 1800s, some male choniclers dubbed herpes the 'occupational hazard' of women. I find it ironic that I should contract it now that I'm out of the life.
On an emotional level I'm really sad. I was really hoping to dodge that particular STI bullet.
The fact that I had my first outbreak just after hearing about Monica's death illustrates to me just how much mind, spirit, and body are interconnected. I'm just happy that the herpes isn't HIV, and is quite easily treated. I miss my friend and would suffer 100 herpes outbreaks of much stronger magnitude if I could have Monica back on this Earth.