My friend L (who for the moment must go by an initial only) just got a book deal. It’s a jaw-dropper. When she e-mailed me the news, the note began “Are you sitting down?” I was, but at the library where I was subbing, and it was all I could do not to start yelling, yelping and yodeling. As it was, I had to confine myself to spinning around in my desk chair.
L is one of those overnight sensations, after 30 years of working at the craft. She’s an editor, and for decades has toiled over other people’s words. Now she’s the Cincerella who, after tending and mending others’ evening clothes, gets to dance at the ball herself. I believe she’ll wear Teva sandals, though!
Though I’m getting old, I’m nowhere near the age where I should be burying friends, if such an age ever exists. But we just went to the memorial service of a friend who died suddenly at 55. Seth was a union organizer who improved the lives of countless families, and the place was packed to the ceiling with people wanting to pay tribute and tell Seth stories. On his desk he kept a quote from Chief Justice Earl Warren: “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.” He was also father to two kids, one of whom told how when her goldfish Spotty died, Seth took him to work, promising he knew a guy who could resuscitate fish. And, astonishingly, Spotty returned home that night alive!
And just because I haven’t featured him lately, and because he is up there at the top of the furry feline friend pantheon, here is the beloved Habibi.