This is a question I am asked more often than you could possibly imagine. And I'm sure that I'm not asked more than anyone else, but ever since February 27, 2005 this question has held more weight over the top of me than 40 bags of elephants.
Do I have a sister?
I have a brother. I have two sisters-in-law. This I know for sure. But do I have a sister?
I did have a sister. Five years ago today I had a sister. I had a sister and we were "eleven months apart" we would tell everyone with rolling eyes when they asked if we were twins.
And then five years ago tomorrow happened.
And here's where it becomes a lonely mess. I never knew life without a sister. We were so opposite that we became each other's strengths. So what happens- at the age of 28 when it's all taken away? When everything you ever knew becomes a lie? You begin to question everything you believed in. You start talking to ghosts. You start desperately to write left handed because she was. You start trying to figure out how to delete her number from your phone. You start to try to become whole. And the entire time, you feel dropped in the middle of the ocean at night without a raft.
And in some odd twist of things, the movie that Julie and I would always sing at the tops of our lungs became my life. Everyone fighting some stupid battle over emotional territory, Jets and Sharks like.
I still haven't been able to watch West Side Story in these five years of ... after. And it wasn't our only movie, but it's so much become her that I haven't wanted to open that part back up. Not that she got it in the back with a knife in the alley or shot in a basketball court at night, (apartment fire) but it's there. The sickening void is still there.
And just in the way that there is a B.C. and an A.D. and we all live our existence to those measures of time, that's the way this whole business has been for me, too.
"I had a sister then"
"Ooh, that's back when I had a sister"
"...Oh yeah, that's me now".
That's just how it is, I suppose when something so ridiculously tragic happens. That's how you wrap your mind around it. Measures of time.
So Julie, Judy, Jude. Hey.
Oh, FYI The Beatles Hey Jude/Revolution LP was released on this date in 1970. That was her song. Weird. Because on this date in 2005 it was my sister's last day on Earth.
Not to bum you out or anything. Just some thoughts I've never been able to get down.
"When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day".
This I know for sure.