Friday, September 21, 2012

The Curious Nature of Friendship

Not sure if people notice or not, but I have not been writing about Tova for quite some time.  The reason for this is simple - right after my wedding we got into a HUGE fight - I said some things, she said some things - and it escalated from there.  It doesn't matter what the fight was about - let's just say we both had valid points to make.  A massive blowout was followed by a USA-Russia type cold war.  Followed, finally, but some very cold texts and stilted phone conversations, aka "progress".  (Under normal circumstances, our massive blowouts were usually followed by some crying, apologies and hugging within minutes or at most, hours, later.).  But whatever you want to call it, there has been a very real and not so subtle shift in our relationship.

Now a year ago, this would have been a Disaster of Epic Proportions!!!. The Titanic going down with me in the engine room.  Standing on Vesuvius as it erupted.  Tanning on those white sandy beaches of Atlantis seconds before the big earthquake-type proportions.

But a funny thing happened since then.  It seems we are both thriving away from each other.  I'm enjoying married life with David, expanding my social circle exponentially (each time one of Dave's friends finds a significant other, friends of friends, when we are introduced to a nice new couple, etc) and for the first time... actually enjoying life. 

And Tova? Did she fall to pieces without my constant love and support?  NO!  She's back in school, she's still seeing her BF and she's made...get friends!  She's going out.  She's having fun.  She's living.  Bitch.

Which made me do a lot of thinking about the nature of friendship.  Was ours poisonous?  Did we hold each other back?  Were we somehow toxic?  Did our us against the world mentality actually retard our ability to grow?

Short answer?  FUCK NO. 

Longer answer:

At the end of The Dark Knight [SPOILER ALERT] a deflated Commissioner Gorden tells his son that Batman has become a "criminal" because that's what's best for the City of Gotham - "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. " (emphasis mine) 

Gotham needed Batman to be "bad" because it needed Harvey Dent to be good, even though he really wasn't. (Confused?  Watch this amazing and disturbing movie about 4 times and it will all make sense.  Assuming you can stomach four times through Heath Ledger's powerfully disturbing performance as the Joker.  Truly painful to watch.  Yes, I used "disturbing" twice because it really was, well, disturbing.)


And in the end, that sums up Tova and I.  For many years, we were both the friends we needed and the friends we deserved.  No one else could have understood our pain, our hardships, our suffering.  Each of us was going through a unique type of hell on earth - her bouts with cancer and my bouts with.... well everything. We had each other and that was enough.  As Cletus Purcell so often tells Dave Robocheaux - "no one fucks with the Bobsey Twins from homicide".  Tova and I took on the world.  We had each other and didn't need anything, or anyone, else.  We were the Bobsey Twins from homicide.  Period, end of story.

But stories change. Times change.  Circumstances change.  I found David and solace for my pain in a new life.  Not just solace, but an environment less toxic, nay nontoxic, within which I can thrive - where all of my dreams (assuming I had dreams as a child) could come true.  And perhaps because of this my safe house, my Tova, has become something that perhaps I still deserve, but no longer necessarily need.

As life (though not necessarily my ego) would have it, Tova seems to have been in a similar boat as well.  Without her crutch (and perhaps fueled to some degree by a desire to stick it to me?), she's blossomed .  She's happy.  She's seeing someone.  She's got an expanded social circle of her own.  Bitch.

Friendship, true friendship, is forever.  I still believe that.  Like family though, sometimes that's not always the greatest, or most perfect, thing.  But still forever. 

Yet, things change over the course of forever.  Batman understood this, Commissioner Gordon did too.  Now, perhaps, so do I.  If you would have told me a year ago that Tova and I, the Bobsey Twins from homicide would ever be anything other than best friends forever, I would have saved a place for you in the loony bin.  And now here we stand a year, a marriage and a whole life later, in a whole new place.

Will Tova always have a place with me.  Yes.  Will I ever forget her?  No.  But that energy, that raw, terrible energy that was the nature of our close bond, is now gone - gone in a rush of a new reality for both of us which has dissipated much of that once vital life force. 

Gone yes, but never forgotten.  Because Tova will always be the hero I deserve if not necessarily the one I need.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Never Forget" = A Decade?

Perhaps I'm too cynical from all my years of practice.  Perhaps I just don't get out enough to see it.  But is it me or has our collective memory of 9/11 become just that - a memory.  Yesterday's beautiful sunset, now a fuzzy pinkish purple haze in our over loaded memory banks. Only much less pretty to look at.

Never forget.

People are sick of the "War on Terror".  They are sick of the words Iraq and Afghanistan.  They are sick of hearing that people hate us.  They want to stop living in fear.

9/11.  We all remember it.  We all vowed to never forget.  Last year there were beautiful ceremonies at Ground Zero.  I watched and I cried.  But it was a Sunday.  So yes, it was easy to tune in.  This time it's Tuesday.  People need to work, go to school.  shop.  People need to move on. 

Never forget

Never forget?  People don't want to remember that a religion of millions and millions of people want them all dead.  That our lifestyle choice, that of freedom, is a dirty word to them.  That they hated us so much, they flew jets with full tanks of gas into giant buildings and toppled them down.  They killed themselves to get this job done.

Never forget

But we are forgetting.  Every single year we are losing just a little more interest.  A little more anger drains away.  "Eh these haters aren't so bad.  Bin Laden is dead.  Cut off the head and the body will follow right?  Why get all worked up about all this stuff.  Let it go.  The presidential election is a few months away, I need to be focused on that now, not the past."

You can't tell me it's the same.  Those of you who were in the city that day - you were covered in white ash and death and fear.  And now - today I walked through the city - it was beautiful.  It was magnificent.  But it was not 9/11.  Not the one of a decade ago.

Never forget?  We are already forgetting.  We are letting congress slash our defense budget.  We are forgetting our allies in freedom.  We are allowing Iran to stall us while they make a bomb - all while announcing to the world that they plan to use it on a democratic country.

Never forget.

A saying.  Words.  And we all know that words are wind.  Wind which spreads the ashes of the Twin Towers and the people inside it all over the world to this very day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Smartphone App Review Fridays - WAZE!!!

I'm not a huge Droid App person.  Sure, I have all the basics, and some awesome add-ons.  The App that makes my phone into a bright flashlight.  The one that that gives me access to a bunch of newspapers.  The drudge report app.  Bloomberg app.  I'm a fan of Instagram too.

But those are toys people, not tools.  Waze is a tool.  In fact, it's the last GPS you will ever use.

Waze is a gps app, developed in Israel!!! (They have offices in Raanana and Palo Alto - sweet combo).  It's on Iphone, Droid and some other systems no one actually uses (yes, I'm talking to you, Blackberry).  On top of the fact that it's directions kick Garmin's ass, it also is in real time and interactive.  it gives you traffic updates, tells you where there are accidents and slowdowns, and even tells you if an upcoming traffic light has a traffic cam attached to it.  Damn!

It has the points of interest stuff and even real time gas prices, reported by other users.  Damn!

Waze is so awesome because it's interactive.  It takes information from other drivers who report stuff. In addition to turn-by-turn voice navigation, real-time traffic, and other location-specific alerts, Waze simultaneously sends anonymous information, including users' speed and location, back to its database to improve the service as a whole.  Yes, I cut that last sentence straight out of Wikipedia.

 And get this, we were driving the other day on a highway and we were coming up to a bit of a slow-down.  So we slowed down.  Waze ASKED US WHY WE WERE SLOWING DOWN!!!  Damn!

And to top it off, it's free App to download and it gives really good directions.  Better than my crappy Garmin, which I don't even use anymore.  Also, there's a social aspect to it, with games and chatting and other crap I'm not really interested in.  The more you participate, the more your Waze avatar advances in this social world.  Whatever.

One downside, Waze burns through your battery real quick, so make sure you have a car charger handy when you use it.