Holly on Rikki~ Nine years ago, we became friends while smoking cigarettes in a zen garden. We bonded over a love of poetry, chaos, hair dye, and most of all, Tori Amos. Oh, we loved her. She was fire and we were moth-driven. Rikki’s favorite line: what it takes to be queen.
This is the paradox of Rikki: she is a kind soul. She is gentle, loyal, fiercely protective. She wants to believe you’re good, but she has her doubts. If you’ve fallen, she will come to the rescue, helping to pick up the pieces with a flair that involves cheese and wine and red lipstick. But, she’s dangerously wild. She wants to be queen, but not of you petty humans. She wants to be queen of all mythologies. She will do what it takes.
Bow down. Curtsey. Let her take your hand to kiss. But, most of all, wish something magical for her, for she is magical. She is a deity of the highest order. She is one of those rare people who really, truly, deeply craves to feel alive. It is ordinary for her to call me, breathless, and say, “I have vodka. Let’s make art.” Once she turned to me, unprompted, and said, “I want to fuck everyone in the world.” Understand that this statement has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with a desire to eat life, to completely consume it, to touch the mystery, to be a force, to be the force.
Sometimes we talk over each other, our arms waving, nodding at each other, saying little but, “yes!”, histrionic. Sometimes, we sit and watch smoke blow out of our mouths and into the trees and say nothing. She will burst the silence with something like, “so what do we do about all this?”
“All this” is: our lives, war, abandoned kittens, the slice of cheese still left on the plate, violence, disinterest in poetry and language, running out of vodka before the night is over, the checks we’re about to bounce, any word with the suffix -ism, intolerance, boredom, a fish trapped in a tide pool on the other side of the world. The universe is eggshell teetering on a wall, falling to pieces and she, one of our bodhisattvas, is here to put them back together again. That’s what it takes to be queen.