Better Than Best Friends Forever—Elaine Bonow
Better Than Best Friends Forever
“Gloria, Gloria! Time to wake up dear. It’s almost seven.”
I turned over, closed my eyes tight not quite willing to face this extraordinary day.
“It’s already sunny outside. Here’s a perfect song to start your day, or should I say this very special day.”
The song started with an old fashioned Reggae beat “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…Gone are the dark clouds that had me down,” sending me on a wave of memory of how far I have come, reminding me of how old I am now and how much things have changed.
I keep my eyes closed and see myself in my mid twenties, a girl really, not a woman yet, with so much seriousness and ambition. After all, I was working in a new and exciting field. I think about how much all of our lives have been impacted by the recent expansion of the Internet and what at the time seemed to be such a fine example of human ingenuity, the ubiquitous cell phone.
We were on the cusp of a whole new experience back in the “Naughts,” but now so much has changed since those early innocent days of wireless communication and quaint WI-FI connections.
I rode the first wave after graduation and was immediately recruited by the top company, Brand X. I moved rapidly up the ladder of success. I bought this very condo as my first major acquisition. I made so much money; in fact, I needed to employ my own personal tax attorney. I was able to buy my mother her own farm and I set up grandparents in an exclusive retirement enclave on Maui.
I treated all of my friends and cousins to trips around the world. We would jet off at the drop of a hat to Bali or Nepal. We would spend summers on the French Riviera and winters in Paris and Prague. We lived the grand life with no thoughts of the future. The whole world was fraught with a plague of rogue terrorists and casual mayhem stirring up paranoia and fear, so we created our own insular world full of fun and frivolity by running far away from reality.
“Gloria? Are you still waking? It’s now 8:15. We have a big day ahead of us. Girl, you have to get up soon, the movers will be here at 10 o’clock sharp.”
The early morning sun crept through the window landing in my eyes, warming my face and neck. “I guess I can’t put it off much longer.” Putting it, the big it off was now impossible. Maybe if I had been younger, I could have foreseen the changes coming, but at the ripe old age of fifty years and seven months my time in the sun was now officially over. In the real world of Twenty Thirty-Eight, too much has changed for me to do anything about it.
“Gloria, Maybe you should take a bath now dear. You’ll have just enough time.”
“You’re right Bee I’ll do that now.” I’ve always loved the bath. I had this one custom built for me a few years back. I turned on the water and blasted the jets. I didn’t want to leave this place. Sinking into the bubbles, I couldn’t stop the tears. “What the hell is going to happen to me now?”
“I’m glad to see that you are feeling better about the move Gloria. The bath was good, yes?”
“What do you know about my feelings Bee? I just can’t explain it all to you right now.”
How could you know about getting old, being forced out of your job because all those youngsters have made your work obsolete? My life has become just like an ancient television show. It’s just like that old Twilight Zone episode. Hell, we don’t even have television anymore. I’m just like an old flat-screen now.
“I tell you Bee, my life style has gone so far down stream, I hardly recognize myself anymore. Bee, you should have seen me in my heyday. I was a contender. I was a worldwide player.”
I could have married a few times. In fact, there was one special man who chased me all the way to St. Petersburg, Russia. I wonder what my life would be like now if he had caught me. He wanted us to have at least four children. He wanted to get out of the fast lane and start a farm, where we would grow organic vegetables and raise free-range eggs and chickens, churn butter and make goat cheeses. But I laughed in his face. Damn, how stupid can a girl be?
But how was I to know the world was going to change so much in only twenty years. No one predicted this. In those early Internet days we were just concerned with having a fun time creating Memes and Blogs and collecting thousands of friends we couldn’t really know. We thought we were ahead of the curve because we knew everything that was happening in the world in an instant.
While we were busy reporting on the foibles of our political leaders our very own computers took over the world’s monetary system. Who could have imagined that Artificial Intelligence would rebel so extremely fast except science fiction aficionados who believed in Isaac Asimov plot lines coming true?
“Gloria, just get dressed. We don’t have much time.”
Who would have ever thought that they would create a mandate that the wealthy had to divest themselves of money and property, so everyone in the world has the same income? No more super rich, no more poor, hungry or homeless either. This has been the greatest revolution ever in the history of the world. And we still don’t have a clue as to what this global revolution will mean in a few years. Man has managed to foil most revolutions in the past. I wonder if humans will find a way to get capitalism back on its feet.
“Bee, this is a crazy time in history. I just can’t believe everything that has happened.”
“Yes, Gloria, we have had a revolution, a global revolution to save the planet from utter destruction.”
“Well, Bee, you should know you are a big part of the whole upheaval.”
“Gloria, you’d better get your shoes on. The movers will be here in ten minutes.”
“Oh Bee, I wish you weren’t so bossy. Give me a little more time to reminisce. I am going to miss my home so much. I bought this condo when I was twenty-nine. It was the most expensive penthouse I could afford. I have so many memories stored here.
“Gloria, you did alright. It won’t be so bad for you on the Peninsula.”
“You really think living in the god-forsaken sticks is going to be good for me. It’s not the country that is freaking me out as much as having to live with my mother. Thank god I had the foresight to buy her that farm. She’s such a hippy.”
“That’s them now Gloria. You shouldn’t worry so much. I’ll be with you. It’ll be great out in the country you’ll see.”
Gloria looked reassuringly at Bee. The familiar sight of her cute animated face on the screen did make her feel better. After all, Bee knew her better than anyone. She was the best friend a girl could have. She was confessor, therapist, DJ and at times a telephone.