Counterparts and Beenes
This is Alli aka Allibean. I have no idea why I started calling her that. Then again I have no idea why I started calling Jen Jendoll. So yeah. She's pretty isn't she? :)
"And through the walls they
made their mudpies
Bells for Her - Tori Amos.
There are people you call your friends in this world, and then there are people who go beyond simple friendship. You will find one or two people with whom you can be yourself 100%. Because they already know you with a simple glance. Your secrets, your thoughts, your pain, all shared by another human being.. This is comforting because you are not alone now, yet disturbing, because you would rather wish that no one felt like you, ever. I have two such people *I'm not going to count my girlfriend because that is a completely different relationship dynamic*. I call them my Beenie, after Tori's best friend, and my Counterpart. In their own ways, they are me and I am them, and yet we are separate as well. It's rather complementary.
The California Counterpart
Imagine if you will, chatting for twenty minutes online with someone and feeling comfortable enough to bare your soul without hesitation. Imagine that this person is astonishingly like you: thinks like you, jokes like you, has been through the same sorts of hell. It's rather surreal, but that's what happened when I started talking to my Allibean. It began with a quick email of acknowledgement for a story I'd submitted to a fundraiser she and her girlfriend Kristen were doing, a Chicken Soup book for Tori fans minus the Christian boohoo. Alli wrote back to tell me how much she loved the story. She tells me that's what made her trust me later with her confession, what got her to talk to me. And to think, I simply belted out a rendition of a suicidal time, and how Tori has pulled me back from that brink and given me pause. She later confessed to me that we both shared something that few people understand: we both were self-injurers. Throughout time, we talked and talked about anything and everything. Through nights of wondering if she should tell Kris she was in love with her, to bemoaning long distance relationships, to 3am EST phone calls for hours of laughter and reminiscence on our childhoods. We had so much in common it was scary. We even, as we've discovered, cycle through our moods together. We have depressive swings together, problems with disordered eating together, money problems. Our zines also tend to come out at around the same time. *L* (Note: she finished hers two days before the writing of this piece). We've both survived sexual assault. We tend to like all of the same music with a few exceptions. Because of this, we see ourselves as Counterparts. We are mirror reflections across the miles. We're also crime-fighting partners in silver boots and purple and silver outfits. Did I mention we have the exact same favourite colours? It goes that far; the similarities run that deep. We are even the same height, both dye our hair rather frequently, and both of us love to write. Talking with her is a comfort because I don't have to explain myself clearly -- she already gets me. She always knows just when to say something. She also happens to be a gorgeous person who spoils me rotten even when she's not exactly rolling in money. I tend to do the same for my friends *giggle* I'm finally meeting her the next time Tori tours, and I am doing little backflips in anticipation. That girl needs a massive hug! And a good bottle of wine to share between us, since we're both wine whores.
People like Allibean just don't come along everyday. They're real treasures. And I do treasure her. She's definitely a ray of light in a dismal, dark world. She's my Cali Counterpart.
I first met Sacha in Grade 13 Chemistry, which I took in grade 11. I fast tracked. *L* Our professor, who I'd had before, was a Bible-Thumping freak who couldn't teach his way out of a paper bag and further, picked on people he thought were stupid as if humiliating them would make them learn faster.
After our first unit test, most people did really bad. Our teacher posted this completely lame poem on our classroom door about not quitting. Sacha and I joke that he thought we were going to kill ourselves over our test scores. The daty we first started talking, I ripped the poem off the door, hopped up on the desks before class, and recited the poem complete with melodrama and hopping desk to desk. The teacher busted me. Sacha thought I was insane. But nevertheless we became chatty. The next school year, we had 5 of 6 classes together by fluke. During that school year, her cousin was killed tragically in a car accident. Sacha took it really hard. The mothering part of me took care of her. From phoning frequently to see if she was ok, to hugging her lots, to visiting her when she skipped school and arranging extensions for her for her term work, I tried so hard to keep her going. And through the next few years, we became absolute best friends. We spent so much time together, so many hours in deep conversation. Our lives were fairly different. But at our core, we have an understanding, a mutual core sense of the world and our feelings blend. We were a couple for a while as well..... For almost 2 years or so. And she is a beautiful kind person, but our friendship was getting lost beneath my difficulties with relationships of that kind. I'd been sexually assaulted again by a supposed good friend. And I saw myself losing her. So I broke it off.
We're still friends however, the absolute best. Our tempers are very alike, so when we fight, we FIGHT. Of course the next day we're laughing it off while our friends shake their heads in disbelief. We are rather vicious when angry. But we are too alike. And if we were to not talk, who would know us as well as we do? In the end, we are so intertwined that it is hard for either of us to imagine being parted, plucked from the same tree by two different bodies, two different hands. And so we hold onto these branches and stick together as best we can, an imperfect perfection. I wouldn't trade her for anything. It would be like tossing away the best parts of me. And I may be foolish sometimes, but I'm never that foolish. I know a good thing when I see it. And I do see.