images-8Last night we closed Except in the Unlikely Event of War. We had two large audiences who whooped it up and we ended with an awesome young band featuring Zac Youssef’, (not sure if it was the Bank Dogs or just some of them – they were great


– and good friends stayed after for a little party. I came home and fiddled around until two thirty. Why? Well, I don’t think I wanted to wake up to being a maid in the morning.


But by this afternoon…


The sun is shining through the Westend apartment and I have a view clear out to sea: West Vancouver to my right and Kits to the left. I am wiping windows and nearly done and I am smiling. Why am I smiling? I surprise myself.  Hm. I am smiling because I get to live here. Because the sun is warm on a winter day when the weather station predicted straight rain. I am smiling because this last business man didn’t use the stove or oven, not even once.


I am smiling because I can clean an apartment and the work is unquestionably excellent. The dirt is clearly gone. There is no debate over whether the clean window is a reflection of society today or if it is self indulgent of me to also pull out the fridge and clean out the back coils when nobody sees them. There is no review of the scrubbed bathroom tiles questioning the ethics of using a small amount of bleach. Nor is there an award nomination for bringing my own environmentally friendly rosemary cleanser, diluted. Nobody envies me and my three well earned bags of laundry nor applauds when I fold them, nor calls me back for a second shower curtain call. Nobody gossips about me taking out the trash and also having the audacity to recycle. I didn’t have to audition to clean the toilet. I wasn’t asked to lose ten pounds before making the bed. I don’t have to fill out paperwork to the government to justify why my job is relevant and innovative. I don’t have strangers writing about me on line, “fuck this play, fuck Lucia Frangione, fuck the company that hired her, they should all be ashamed.” (a wowza book review I accidentally came across about Leave of Absence when I was trying to find an old cast list, that was the quote on the google tag).

Mostly, I am smiling because I get to see my little Nora as soon as I’m done. Life is simple right now.

I get home from cleaning and I write back to the woman who wrote that review of my book. 99% of the time I wouldn’t ever bother. But to be so vehement, it sounds like she’s in pain. So, I responded and started our public conversation. I told her why I wrote the play and how it seemed to affect some very positively and how some others hated it too and how I was interested in her experience. She wrote back immediately, much to my surprise, and specifically spoke about having a strong aversion to the violence. It ended up being a great conversation and somewhat useful to me. Hopefully to her too.

This week seems to be about making peace. The other day, I unexpectedly made my peace with Campers. It really did put something to rest.

It gives me the idea to act upon the only other “loose ends” situation I have dangling painfully around my heart. Might as well go three for three. I try to respect the privacy of the people in my life so I will simply say this amazing beloved person and I had a painful parting of ways, the most painful in my life, actually, because I was so shocked by it, I didn’t understand it. I will call this person the Turnip. Turnip was very afraid I would hate and abandon it for the borsch it decided to be in. I didn’t like the borsch (understatement) but I promised I would never hate or abandon Turnip for choosing to swim in that soup and I would work things through. However, Turnip decided to end our connection entirely and never speak to me again. (Yeah, don’t get me started) Somehow I felt obligated to never abandon Turnip, as I had promised because we had been friends for so long. Certainly this was not just some ordinary vegetable. So, over the years I have written to dear Turnip every six months to say a brief hello, give Turnip an update on my life and Nora’s and some mutual friends and I wish Turnip well. Nothing.


But I realize it hurts me a great deal to do this. To open myself up to another year of waiting to hear back from Turnip. Maybe it is actually Turnip’s wish to be abandoned, despite what it said? Maybe this isn’t a test? So, I write to say another hello, another update on our lives and again, I wish Turnip well. And I say, “I won’t write again, Turnip, as it seems to be your wish.”


A great relief tumbles through my bones: head to foot.


Professor/director Angela Konrad once said, “You have to allow students the choice to fail.” She was speaking to me regarding a student who simply wasn’t working very hard in class.


And so it is with my taciturn Turnip. I have to allow it the choice to fail at reconciliation.


It seems every month I make a huge leap towards simplicity and clarity. I’m sort of going all Chanel on my spirit.


I am smiling because I am so grateful to have this capacity.  And I am smiling because I have the perfect pair of shoes to go with that.images

Share Button


Skip to comment form

  1. Forbes

    There are better models of simplicity and clarity than Coco Chanel. She was a Nazi spy during the war – a collaborator and a traitor. She could have been tried as a war criminal.

    Aside from this quibble, this was a pleasure to read.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      haha, I was wondering if I should put an aside in about that! I do only mean her fashion sense. I’m glad you put in the aside!

  2. Diane Tucker

    I have a Turnip. Or maybe I am her Turnip. I’m not sure. Thank you for assuring me that history, that long-time-ness, is not a stupid reason to believe in a friendship. But shit it really really hurts. I don’t want to hurt like that anymore. I have been considering severing those open lines completely lately, but you’re right. It hurts but it’s good. I won’t sever. I do believe we know who we know for a reason, albeit sometimes a pretty weird one. Like REALLY, what the crap…?

    1. Lucia Frangione

      A person once told me it’s easier to break up with a lover than a friend. I do believe you have to sometimes. I haven’t abandoned anyone outright but there are people I have pulled back from and only see now and then, and genuinely pleasantly. But having them as a part of my intimate circle wasn’t good for either of us in the long run. The day after I wrote to Turnip, they wrote to me for the first time in two years. They reiterated their impression of what our conflicts were and then said they would not communicate with me if I couldn’t agree with or understand their decisions. I think it is possible to still maintain a civil if not warm connection with people who don’t agree or understand all decisions (for the love of God in heaven, can you imagine if you ditched everything who disagreed with you?!) without cutting them off with complete silence. I think that is unacceptable cruelty unless they are an abusive person who needs to be cut off for safety reasons. I think you’re right, Diane, we know people for a reason. Doesn’t mean they all have to be “close”. That’s what I’ve learned. Some people drift out of my life and that’s okay too. I just protest the childishness of not speaking to a person ever again. No closure that way. I’m sorry you have a Turnip in your life. I think anyone could count themselves lucky to spend time with you. xo

Comments have been disabled.