I can't stop crying, all the time, crying whenever I think about JoAnne and how she'll call me when she's ready. How she didn't even leave a number. How I don't even know where Tina lives. How everything was going so well, and then what happened? I went away for a week — no, not even a week — I went away for six days. I went away for six days, and I even called every day to say hi and leave a message and tell JoAnne what was going on, like when I thought it was all with Ned and maybe it still is but at least I got the manatee sign. I knew JoAnne was at Tina’s, but I figured she would check the machine, right? I mean I know she was checking the machine, because she told me Tina didn't want her to give out her number. That it was triggering for Tina when someone called who wasn't in the program.
But JoAnne wasn't in the program either. I mean it was a joke, right? I know it was a joke, because we were drinking practically every night. We were having so much fun.
I guess I could look up all the AA meetings in JP, or maybe there's only one lesbian meeting, I could find that one and show up outside — but what would I say? I don't know, I don't know what to do because I can't stop crying, crying every time I go anywhere JoAnne and I used to go together, which is everywhere, right? Even in Ned’s house I get upset thinking about the times when JoAnne used to come over in the afternoon and we would cook in this kitchen we could tell had never been used before, with the lighting just right for modeling over the six-burner stove, six burners for what? Camera’s ready, prepare to cook. Before Ned met me, the only things in the refrigerator were bottled water, sparkling and still, wine, white and red, milk, orange juice, and moldy cheese.
Anyway, JoAnne would come over in the middle of the day and we would open all the curtains to let the light in, oh how Ned’s place suddenly sparkles in the light I mean I guess it sparkles all the time but in a different way and I thought for sure we would find dust in all the corners but there wasn’t any. And then JoAnne and I would talk to each other like we were just so used to all this wealth, and one time Ned came home when we were getting ready to eat, I guess we’d lost track of time or something, and I thought he would be upset but actually he got excited. He kept asking JoAnne all these questions, and she was so good at answering with the most inane lies that sounded like casual truths. Yes, she was hoping to start at BU in the fall, how did he know? Oh, her parents — yes, she really missed her parents, they were in Seattle.
And then Ned said that maybe he would sit down and have a sandwich with us, we were having tempeh with snow peas and a miso dressing on five-grain bread, and I couldn't tell whether Ned thought it was disgusting, I mean he always eats really slow, but then at the end he said: you know, I think Tyler’s going to make me healthy.
And then the next day he went back to eating hamburgers.
But back to our house, our house that used to feel so calming. I look at those purple walls, and I think: that was for JoAnne. I look at the sofas, the table, all our art, and I can't stop thinking about my dreams and how I thought they were coming together. And then I look in JoAnne’s room and there’s still plenty of Abby’s stuff, but nothing of JoAnne’s except some colored hairs in the carpet.