January 2021

All this is going to take us some time. You don't adjust out of Stockholm syndrome into something approaching hope, much less normalcy, with a snap of your fingers. You suffer leftover debilitating addictions.

On December 30, 2020, Lois Diane Sasson succumbed to COVID-19. She was a survivor of multiple cancers, Lyme’s disease, and various respiratory illnesses–and she was not young. She was also highly intelligent, witty, an impassioned feminist, an artist, and my friend of 46 years. We were friends as young women, as maturing and then middle-aged women, as old women. Conversations about periods, lovers, and politics gradually got replaced by conversations about aches and pains, doctors, and politics. Yet we retained the elastic, enduring innocence of our youngest friendship, the way women's friendships oddly can--as "girlfriends." She was my proverbial sister, perhaps the last of the truly great dames. It is inconceivable that Lois actually could die. She was just too much alive, texting to the very last "Can't talk, can laugh," because the oxygen mask muzzled her speech. “At least I'm stoned," she texted, high on morphine. When she...