It’s 6 in the morning and she’s just made you coffee. Her hair is still wet from her morning shower (and yes you have to specify with her which shower it is because she insists on taking two a day). It’s 6 in the morning and she’s reading the paper and chattering excitedly about a new article on schizophrenia, even though nothing in her life has anything to do with this new research. She’s talking in big words and long sentences and your brain isn’t even online yet so you sip the coffee she made you and try to remember if you need to wear socks with these shoes (you do). It’s 6 AM and she’s running through a list: paper, stethoscope, jacket—you got your jacket right?, phone, Drug guide. Ally? Are you ready? You blink twice in some made up Morris code—yes—and then nod twice for good measure. It’s too early to be talking. You hate talking in the morning. It’s too loud. But she made you coffee so she can talk all she wants for all you care. Ready? Your brain rattles in your skull as you nod again and the coffee she just made you sloshes in your stomach. You think for the 23rd time that morning about how much you hate mornings. Ally? Ready? The answer is yes. Yes, you’re ready, but she needs a verbal confirmation. Yes, Jenny. It’s 6 AM and she’s making sure the door shuts fully behind you. It’s 6 AM and you’re not awake, but she made you coffee, so she’s allowed to speak. It’s a compromise, you see.
It’s noon and she’s swearing about something. You’re both swearing. It’s a horrible habit that you both really need to kick, but who gives a shit, right? It’s been a long day already, but it’s only noon, so fuck this and fuck that and let’s go fuck shit up. It’s noon and there is a new drug on the market for schizophrenia—did I tell you that yet? She’s cutting out the article to hang on her wall. Why she needs an article about drugs for a mental disorder she doesn’t have? Who knows. But up on the wall it goes, right next to the picture of her little brother and the painting of something that looks like bacteria. Ally—I think I might have a brain tumor. It’s noon and she’s telling you she has a brain tumor. You don’t have a brain tumor, Jenny. Last week she was positive she had Zika Virus (she doesn’t). She’s a hypochondriac in nursing school who makes you coffee every morning because she knows you hate mornings. So you don’t mind that you have to quell some unfounded medical fears. That’s what you do for your best friend.
It’s 6 PM and she’s asking (yelling) to see if you want rice. You say no. She asks again. Ally? Rice? The answer is still the same. No, Jenny. Not today. She makes really good rice tho, so maybe tomorrow. It’s 6 PM and she’s sprawled across the entire table. Not literally, but her presence is on every inch on that surface. Colored pens, little black notebooks, a laptop, a pencil-case with the words Pen Orgy Inside printed on the fabric. It’s 6 PM and the rice is done and she’s carrying a bottle of soy sauce around with her like it’s her child. There’s a newspaper which becomes her place mat and a gallon sized water bottle that perpetually has four sips of water left at the bottom. She never fills it all the way. It gets too heavy to carry if she fills it all the way. She’s a hurricane, eating her rice and carrying her soy sauce around with her and reading articles about LSD.
It’s midnight and she’s giving you a detailed, in-depth review of her last bowel movement. You didn’t ask for this knowledge, but it was bestowed upon you without hesitation (and at loud volumes too…it’s important you hear about how your favorite chocolate cereal translates into fecal matter). It’s midnight and she’s reading a romance novel and then looking up at you to tell you to stop biting your nails. You stop. It’s midnight and she’s going to bed after taking her second shower, and then comes out to tell you that you need sleep as well. She knows how much you hate the mornings. Go to bed, Ally. She’s right, you need sleep. I’ll go to bed soon. It’s a lie. You’ll be up until 3 AM and then hating every minute of your life the next morning. Ally, sleep. You grumble but it’s ok. She’ll make you coffee in the morning.
A Green Eyed Portrait is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while. The people around me, my friends and family, all have so much character and I wanted a way to show them how I see them. So, to Jenny who let me write about her quirks and habits, thank you for being the first.