Meeting Selena, Part II
It was a wet washcloth of a day: swollen with humidity, wrung out, and overcast. The kind of day that is thick with the threat of rain. I had packed an umbrella in case the threat was made real. Seated at a café table, we tried to form the day’s plot. Maxed out on the museums from her last visit, it was easy to kibosh that as an option. I was relieved—I didn’t want a focus on anything external to take away from the narrative I knew I’d eventually write about our day. The 2:30 meeting had turned into a 3:00 p.m. conversation in progress that forced the following awareness: we were both hungry.
You’d never know I was a planner from the way I sat there Googling “restaurants near Union Station” like someone who’d never been to the capital, but I had no concrete next step for us to take. The meeting itself was the stuff of whimsy and I suppose I expected the next moment to simply rise up to meet us. The trouble with 3 p.m. is that it’s between lunch and dinner and many establishments are closed to prepare for the evening rush of diners. Just when I was on the cusp of suggesting we leave the train depot and wing it, the sky opened. The rain was insistent, nearly violent when it finally arrived. No umbrella would be a match for it.
Fate once again dictated our course. We were staying in the station, which boasted any number of eating options. It wasn’t the grand adventure I assumed we’d have, but I was with the perfect companion, so the where didn’t matter.
In the first half an hour, we refreshed each other’s memories on the details of our lives that were probably first shared more than three years ago. Gathering up loose ends. I’d forgotten that Selena was a nurse for a while before she built a life in Taiwan, where fate decidedly intervened in her life and saw to it that she meet her husband, just before she was on the brink of returning to America for good. That was 17 years ago.
And we went all the way back to the bare bones of our story—the why of forming FFAULA, the real why. Ultimately, we’d both found Frisco & Felicia again at about the same time in our lives and the rediscovery connected us back to something at the core of ourselves, back to the time in our lives when our ideals were being shaped. And those two characters and the two people who brought those characters to life, brought us together.
FFAULA was formed to send love to those two people, to reconnect them to that part of their lives as much as it was an expression of our love for what they made. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and we knew that what they put into the world was very much alive. Every post on the group wall, every video compilation, every backdated magazine purchased, and every old interview shared has been a step in the direction of reminding us and reminding them of that indestructible magic, even though we only had what we put into the universe as a through line.
Someone once said to me of Jack’s eventual return to General Hospital, “you seem to have willed this…” Sometimes, the initial outcome of a fated event can look very much like disaster. I didn’t wish for a return to the soap, per se. I simply wished for a sparked awareness in both of the principals that “F&F” still mattered. I very much feared a return because I didn’t know if current writers could be trusted with the fictitious narrative. We now know that they could not be. But something far greater will come from that, has in fact already emerged. Whatever this is is not yet fully articulated, but I feel it as strongly as I did at the age of 11 when these two people (and their fictitious counterparts) first came into my life, into our lives…
A real part of this meeting was recounting the story of our unfolding friendship as we recounted our love of their story, which was part of us years before I stumbled across Selena’s first video on YouTube.
To meet was to tell each other the story again.
I ordered my signature cocktail—a vodka martini straight up. Selena ordered a Guinness, and we talked about the future, what it might hold in the short- and long-term. Short-term, we sketched a plan for group activities to dovetail with the actual 30th anniversary of Frisco & Felicia appearing together on our screens. Long-term, I learned that of the many options for happiness available to her when Selena and her family eventually return to the states, that running a food truck may be what occupies their time.
We were just two women whose lives intersected over something—a phenomenon many would write off as ancillary at best and stupid at worst—but we were still two people with our own narratives, fears, and insecurities. FFAULA is a safe space, meant to be fun—a rescue from drudgery. This is why we agreed that it must never become a task or an assignment. If it’s not fun, we shouldn’t be doing it. FFAULA has an open door so that anyone can walk through it, out of it, and in again if it comes to that.
I was sitting across from someone who is every bit me—the mirror image of my intentions—with her own story that unfolded in just such a way to get us to this point. Face to face.