We sat on her queen bed in her yellow room with the bay windows looking over the forested hill when we made our pact.
I was in my pajamas and she were in hers, and we neither looked nor smelled good, with our hair piled on our heads, day-old mascara adorning our faces, and early morning dragon breath about which we cared nothing at all, gleefully breathing in and out and adding to the halitosis nightmare with the coffee and cream we sipped and tried not to spill on her new flannel sheets.
It was morning on a weekend and we were roommates and good friends by that time; good enough for me to take the Big Risk and see if we might become Much More.
Nope. More than that.
“You have to promise — PROMISE — to pluck my chin hairs if I’m ever in a coma,” I said. “I mean, you can wait a few days, but after that you’re going to have to sneak tweezers into the ICU and spent some quality time with my chin, OK? I need you to be… my Coma Friend.”
“Yes. Absolutely! No problem,” she said quickly. “I will do this for you, but I want something in return.”
“Anything. ANYTHING,” I replied.
And she said, “You shall SWEAR TO GOD and on your ETERNAL SALVATION that you will MAKE HASTE to my house if I’m ever in a coma and take the box of sex toys from under my bed before my mother comes over. There are things… things she should never see,” my friend finished in a whisper as I giggled, then chortled, then belly laughed.
I’m not sure if we were laughing at our frivolous demands or if we were laughing from wild relief. I suspect both. And we’ve renewed our pledge over the years, checking in here and there to be sure our pact is intact and that will not waver in our dedication to our plan.
Dearest Coma Friend,
Oh how I love you! More than a bestie. More than a sister. More than my morning cuppa, which is really saying something.
Dearest Coma Friend,
You are my FAVORITE kind of ALL the friends. Thank you for being more than a bestie and better than a friend. Thank you for being my Coma Friend.
P.S. I’m not making light of comas. Cross my heart.
P.P.S. I don’t expect her to actually pluck my chin hairs when I’m in a coma, because I suspect that in a coma I won’t care.
P.P.P.S. I DO expect her to have the nurses call her, STAT, if I seem to be coming out of the coma, so she can haul ass to the hospital and wax the hell out of my chin hairs before I wake up. And then I expect her to LIE to me and tell me she’d been doing it all along. I feel like that’s what Jesus would do.
P.P.P.P.S. Do you have a Coma Friend? If so, please tell me about him/her and the pact(s) you’ve made. I feel like we should know what all of our Coma Options are. And also that if hospitals included this kind of thing in Advance Directive forms they’d be MUCH more successful at getting people to complete them. <<<Why I Should Be in Charge of All the Things