When I wrote about last Monday's rough patch, I had no idea what kind of week my roomie Juju was about to face. In retrospect, my post was totally inappropriate. Sort of like Helen Keller jokes. (You heard how she burned her ear, right?)
Juju went to the emergency room twice last week. She was hospitalized for two days and still managed to rehearse and open a play this week. She passed three kidney stones. Two of them were passed while she was performing onstage in Artist Repertory Theatre's Lobby Hero. Speaking of heroes, juju is one of mine.
Juju and I met when I was cast in the Exotic Actors Guild. The group was together for two years, and we performed late night sketch comedy at Stark Raving Theatre. Our first show was called, "Hey! Don't Grab Me There..." and the next summer we performed in "Chicken Soup for the Hole". When I met Juju I was still living with CT. She did NOT care for CT at all. In fact, one night we all went out to a bar together. I told Juju that CT spent $200 on bathroom rugs earlier that day. He had a lot of money, but we always kept our finances separate. So sometimes (always) he had a little (lot) more money than I did.
A few moments later, I asked the bartender how much a Bud Lite cost, and didn't have enough cash to get one. (I know - it is pathetic, but I spend money on crazy things like plane tickets to Cleveland rather than practical things like bathroom rugs), so I ordered a water.
"Hold on," Juju said, turning her glare on CT. "You just bought a two-hundred dollar bathroom rug and you can't buy your boyfriend a beer?"
He turned red and bought me a beer. I'm sure he went home and made a note to himself to spend three dollars less on my birthday present that year to make up for the beer.
It is fitting that I moved into a house with Juju after CT and I split up. She has taught me so much, and that is one reason I love her.
In honor of all that Juju does for me every single day and the personal hell she has lived this week, here is why I love my roomie:
When she was single, she would call and ask me to go cruise boys with her at an outdoor cafe. We would play a game where we would guess if a guy was straight or gay. Then we would wait and see which of us he would look at as he walked by.
She taught me that it's okay to say, "damn, I look goooood...." or "I'm so hot. I would do me."
She doesn't get mad when I accidentally put our home phone in my coat pocket and leave the house with it. She doesn't get mad when I heat up breakfast in the microwave and forget about it until she finds it the next day. She doesn't get mad when I bring home a friend at 3 a.m. and make popcorn in the microwave and burn it and set off the fire alarm. Okay, well she gets a little mad.
She makes her own greeting cards, is a fabulous actress, is totally hot, has a cute boyfriend and generally has it going on.
She will have morning coffee on the porch with me in her silk kimono while I wear my flannel polka dot pajama bottoms. As we will chat over coffee we greet people walking down the sidewalk with a "Hi neighbor!" Sometimes they smile and nod, but they always quicken their pace.
She loves me when I make grown-up choices like not sleeping with a married man. She loves me when I sleep with a married man. She loves me, she loves me, she loves me.
And I love her.