CC and I are sitting at our absolute favorite lunch spot on our absolute favorite place on earth—the beach. Specifically, Back To The Beach Cafe on Santa Monica Beach. It’s late October and it’s a postcard-perfect balmy day under a clear blue sky as we pull off our wedges and dig our toes into the sand beneath our table. That’s why we love this place—you can sit inside (this, we will never understand) or sit at little tables literally on the sand. Steps from the ocean. This we understand.
So there we sat, blending effortlessly into the SoCal beach scene—big black sunglasses, big hats, big purses and unlike most SoCal women—big appetites. We even skipped the wine with lunch (we have a bottle chilling at home). We opt for water (healthy, right?) that the uber friendly wait staff serves in cheery, sea-blue plastic tumblers. CC remarks of how she once had glasses similar to these and wonders where they went, then with a shrug we’re on to new just-as-important topics.
Like chemo. And ports and hair loss and traveling husbands and nail polish and puking and our 20 year old daughters and our writing careers and the May release of her new novel and the cost of nausea meds and skirts we don’t have to hem and why we will only buy black cars.
I sit there looking at my gorgeous friend— her long, thick golden brown hair gently blown about by the ocean breeze. Her slender hands adorned by her two-year-old wedding ring reflecting sparkles across her hamburger bun. We’ve sat here, in this exact spot, countless times before. How is it that in a week she’ll undergo her third surgery in a matter of weeks—this time to add (as opposed to removing cancerous cells) a port which will, for the next year, serve as her lifeline to, well, a longer life.
I’m sitting here seeing it. Listening to it. Talking about it. But it still doesn’t seem real.