This isn’t the first time I’ve had to say goodbye to Catia. Which, by the way, is the one thing I refuse to say to her. Ever. Because she’s my fucking Hawkeye Pierce.
Catia and I are war buddies. We’ve seen each other through an unimaginable amount of catastrophe and muck and shitty times and stupid decisions at weird hours. Through a lot of “I don’t wannas” and “fuck its.” Through relationships that made no sense and being broke and feeling broken.
But nothing can break this chick. She’s a slugger. I’ve seen Catia come to the other side of more emotional upheaval than pretty much anyone. We all have—I think she knows everyone.
I knew she was thinking about moving to Nashville, but as you can see it became super real when I got this text Tuesday night:
I didn’t want to be a selfish bitch about it. But I hate it when my friends move away. (Never mind the typo—I was crying and I couldn’t see. I’m crying as I’m writing this, but I’ll try to spell right.)
When Catia moved to London with Kevin, I felt the exact same way. It sucked. I didn’t want to say goodbye then, either. But when your best friend gets the chance to live it up in Europe with her (then) boyfriend, future husband and love of her life, and she has the guts to do it and the heart and an Italian passport, you have to get over yourself and send her off with love.
And that’s what I’ll do now. Because Catia goes for it. She’s adventurous and brave and dauntless. I’m actually in awe of her sometimes. She deserves the unbelievable life she has with her family. They should get the hell outta here. They should live in a three bedroom renovated farmhouse in Franklin, Tennessee for less money than they pay here, without the L.A. traffic and the freaks. She’s fought her fucking ass off for her happy life. And I know she would do it all over again a thousand times for what she has, because happiness is the best thing ever.
In a way, because of her I married Mauro. I’ve had many conversations with Cat about what it is to find a good man. A man without a sneaky, sleazy side. A man you can trust with your life. A man who’s worth all the garbage and nonsense we’d both already been through. We made it through together.
We both met our husbands at Dragonfly. They knew each other from Dragonfly, before we knew either one of them. There’s something awfully witchy about that place. I think it has something to do with the larger-than-human sized vaguely female dragonfly thing behind the stage. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Click here.) Raise your hand if you’ve a) worked there, b) played there, c) drank there after being sober there, d) gotten into a fist fight on the patio there or e) met your spouse there. I’m sure there’s someone reading this who’s done all five.
Both of our husbands like to disappear in their studios to do sound stuff because they’ve been in bands on and off their whole lives. That’s the best way I know to explain it. Honestly, I hear words like “reverb” and “back line” and I have no idea what they mean.
The first time I remember meeting Catia was at the Martini Lounge—or maybe it was the Tea Room—probably 18 or 19 years ago, maybe longer. And I remember thinking she was that girl, one of those hot shit, super gorgeous, Hollywood AA girls. You know what I’m talking about. It was like spotting a fox in the wild. Everyone knew her. Everyone dug her.
I know I saw her around after that, but I was more West Side. If she was Swinger’s, I was Lulu’s. If she was Melrose, I was Abbot Kinney. We were both Late Night—Robertson Late Night. And then I moved to Hollywood.
I was bartending at 360° on Sunset and Vine in the late 90’s when we met again. She sat at the bar with a guy who ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for them.
Me: “Hey, I know you…!”
Cat (as she’s glaring): “Really? How?”
Me: “Um, never mind.”
The next thing I heard, she was in rehab in Texas.
The next time I saw her was at Rodeo. She was sober again. And have no idea how it happened, but we became best friends.
She lived in West Hollywood. I lived at the Villa Carlotta on Franklin. We were always at each other’s apartment, because in the 2000’s (but mostly in the 90’s) when you weren’t at the 101 or in a meeting you were at someone’s apartment. And if you were at Catia’s, she was probably making lasagna and a salad. Her Italian-ness is one of my favorite parts about her. Have you ever opened Catia’s fridge? You’ll never go hungry at her house.
We hung out. We went to pool parties and meetings and once to Vegas when Ronna got married. We gave each other money. We went to Orson shows. We were there for each other for everything from sick cats to 3rd steps to making decisions on wedding flowers. We’re both someone’s wife. And she’s a mother. We grew up together.
I don’t think I’ve ever been mad at Catia. Not once.
I do know that wherever she goes, she’ll do fucking rad. She always does.
When she lived in London, I talked to her all the time. That’s why I’m not saying goodbye.
I will say this, what B.J. Hunnicutt said to Hawkeye in the last episode of MASH, because he didn’t want to say it either: “I’ll miss you. A lot. I can’t imagine what this place would’ve been like if I hadn’t found you here.” And the war was finished.
I love you, Kitty Cat. You’ve been the best friend I ever could have asked for. And I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to see the farmhouse in Tennessee ♥