a girl meets girl story, pt. 1
we met through group therapy. I was trying to overcome the death of my father and she was dealing with drug abuse. between donuts & bad coffee after the meeting and a broad “why are you here” curiosity, I said something about how everything, deep down, is a form of addiction. I felt condescending the moment I finished that sentence and apologized. she said she didn’t mind and, in fact, that she agreed with me. we shared our light addictions. mine were bird-watching; swedish singer-songwriters & bitter chocolate. hers were a curiosity for all russian things; an obsession with karaoke bars and reading weird wikipedia articles. of course, there was also alcohol.
I listened to her talk about how it all started in college – drunk nights on freshman year. but hers extended to the three years she managed drinking every night (and sometimes during the day) with attending as little classes as possible. she ended up quitting college altogether, because she couldn’t see the point of it: even though she loved studying, she wasn’t doing it that much. her major was art history, with a minor in russian literature. I asked if she regretted any of it and she replied “it brought me here. i came a long way, to be honest. i have been 2 years clean. the thing they don’t tell you about addiction is that it forces you to get to know yourself better”. she showed me the sobriety chip, it was dark red and it was attached to her key-chain, which was a lighter red and said Greetings from the Marie Curie Museum, it made me curious, but I thought best not to comment on it.
when she asked about my father, I sensed in her voice it was not a question about the problems of our relationship, but rather her welcoming me to share my favorite childhood memory of him. but it was easier going with the first option. I told her: “his name was Richard. he had no sense of responsibility, ever. he died of pulmonary cancer about a month ago. since then, I haven’t been able to sleep much, but when I do, I have these weird dreams, which brought me to therapy”. in the beginning, she knew just the right moment to change the subject when things were about to get too personal. I appreciated that because there was always a mysterious vibe about our life stories. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to take communication with anyone as a very slow process, and I felt this pace was almost natural to her.
the meeting was over. I walked to the bus stop and opened a book to read while I waited. when she drove pass me, I noticed how different her hair color was in the sunlight – it was light brown and the bangs were more noticeable, because they weren’t as light colored. I still remember how this subtle change made her name more suitable. she now looked like a Claire, at least to me. later I searched for the meaning of her name: In Latin the meaning of the name Claire is: From the feminine form of the Latin adjective ‘clarus’ meaning bright or clear. People with this name tend to be creative and excellent at expressing themselves. They are drawn to the arts, and often enjoy life immensely. They are often the center of attention, and enjoy careers that put them in the limelight. They tend to become involved in many different activities, and are sometimes reckless with both their energies and with money. Everything was superficial and exciting, as general descriptions usually are.
I then searched my name: In Latin the meaning of the name Katherine is: pure, clear. People with this name have a deep inner desire for love and companionship, and want to work with others to achieve peace and harmony. People with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. They tend to be courageous and sometimes aggressive. As unique, creative individuals, they tend to resent authority, and are sometimes stubborn, proud, and impatient. I saw no great resemblance to myself, but I couldn’t help but notice that both our names had the same meaning; clear. I closed the tab wondering if perhaps people who wrote those descriptions did so based on hopes of who they wanted their children to be and not who they actually were or would become; I also thought that, contrary to being something particular about Katherines, all individuals were unique.
listening while writing:
Coconut Records – West Coast
Arcade Fire – We Used to Wait
Lana Del Rey – Brooklyn Baby
Lorde – Buzzcut Season