I Remember Joan

Joan Rivers died five days ago. She was vibrant and funny and fearless and then she was gone. She died at age 81, that’s a pretty good amount of time, although it would have been great if she were still here. My Joan only got forty-one years. She was vibrant and funny but I’m not so sure she was as fearless as Joan Rivers, in some ways I think she was. I wanted to write something because I was and still am a huge fan of Joan Rivers. When my Joan used to tell me to go to bed I would obey of course but when I knew Joan Rivers was going to be on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, or if she was subbing for him, I would get back up and watch it and when Joan Rivers finished her thing then I would go to bed. I’m not a comedian but I have been in some of my wildest fantasies.

Today would be my Joan’s seventieth birthday that is if she were still with us. You know what I mean. She’s dead like Joan Rivers. I was just trying to be polite. I’m doing my thing throughout the day. My Joan has been gone a long time so when her birth date comes around I usually don’t stress. I remember though because it’s a week away from my birth date. (uh hmm hint- a Sephora gift card is nice and simple). Today was a typical day. I go to work. I take a walk. I socialize a bit but then I decide to take a different route home. I decided to take the 437 Commuter bus home. It’s the marina commuter bus. Almost home and what do I see in a shop window? A red dress. How cute was it? I said to myself, “I have got to go over to that shop and check out the other clothes, that would make a really great date dress.” Then what popped up next? An RC Cola vending machine.

RC is barely in existence today and I don’t know when’s the last time I saw an RC Cola vending machine. Have you even heard of RC Cola? It’s pretty obscure these days, maybe it’s popular in the deep south. My mom used to drink RC and I remember the little bottles she used to get out of the vending machine. The thing you need to know about the red dress is, my mother used to always insist that I wear red for school pictures. I didn’t realize it for many years but in my school pictures for many years I am always wearing red. There were some low key times when she let up but for senior portraits in high school, she insisted again. Oh heck yea, tears.

Google published a doodle today in honor of Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday. I am a huge Tolstoy fan. I’m even thinking about learning Russian so I can read Tolstoy in the original Russian. If I have a bucket list, so far that’s the only thing on it. Any who, I put a link on my Facebook feed and I added the comment Leo Tolstoy’s and Joan Young’s(my mom) birth date and the birth of the name United States. I heard that United States thing on NPR this morning. I don’t insist on remembering my mom on her birth date but if it happens it happens.

On that commuter bus I was thinking about my Joan and how I would put her image in the background of something as a remembrance because I didn’t like the way some people stopped speaking of her after she died, some even before, as if she never existed. She lived with cancer for many years before she passed. There’s that colloquial language again. Maybe I was thinking of her in that way because I read a that the Broadway League was not going to dim theatre lights in honor of Joan Rivers, but then they reversed the decision. and then POW I see the red dress and the RC vending machine and I think I am remembering my Joan and maybe just maybe she is remembering me. i will always remember both my Joans.

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