Monday, March 24, 2008

Jill Merzon

This is about Jill. My first, best friend I made on my own in New York. She was mystical and wild and a freer spirit than I have ever before or since met.
Her apartment was tiny. Nothing more than one moderate sized room that was kitchen/bath/living room with a room on one side taken up completely by a bed and one on the other that held a chest of drawers and her clothes and a chair. The toilet was in a tiny closet and the tub was in the kitchen with a plywood top that served as a table when needed. She had beads and mirrors everywhere, art and books and plants crowded one another for space. We sat there so many hours drinking french press coffee, laughing, crying, talking, sitting in silence, just being together. Jill was a native New Yorker, Jewish, red-haired, gypsy/hippie, I was a southerner up for a while...
We connected from the very beginning. She and I worked backstage at Manhattan Theater Club, (an off Broadway theater), she ran sound, I ran lights. Together we were a great team. She introduced me to lentil soup, pumpernickel bread and incense. I introduced her to cornbread and Southern Literature.
We had one of those connections where I would pick up the phone to call her and she would be on the line (before it even rang!) Or we would show up at the same place on a whim to find the other there reading or having coffee...
In such a large city we found each other again and again.
She made me laugh and dance and feel much more savvy and cool than I probably was. She would take off on a whim going to Mexico or England or where ever her fancy took her once she had enough money saved for the fare.
Jill read tarot and is the only person I ever truly believed who could. She was just that magic. She loved fiercely and passionately and I saw her through several broken hearts. And she in turn was there when my own was trampled a few times. I once did a water color for her of us, she as the sun, me as the moon. That was how I saw us, she was all fire and light and I was just a reflector of her light...
When I was leaving New York, she was the one person I really had to say goodbye to. I knew by leaving, the bond would break somehow. I don't remember what we did or said that last time. I just remember sitting in her magical apartment, drinking cup after cup of Cafe Bustelo, laughing, crying, talking and sitting in silence.
I think maybe we tried to write, but over the years we lost touch. And I grieve that now. There is a part of me that longs for the days of discovery; of running down dark New York streets, singing "All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray..."
I feel a bittersweet longing to go back one more time, to see those young women, to tell them they are wondrous, beautiful, and that it will all be okay someday. That the tears they shed over the men in their lives will be dried by someone better, stronger, sweeter. That life will even out its crazy rollercoaster ride, but for now enjoy the hills and dips, twists and turns, the craziness. For it is fleeting; their time as sisters and friends.This time will go so fast. In a blink, it will be gone and they will be settled and content and remembering each other from a lifetime ago...

7 comments:

dnbtman said...

I knew Jill. Maybe 10 years ago, I tried to find her and did. She was in London. I would like to find her again now. We were very good friends a long time ago. If you find her, I wish you would tell her I am looking for her. How can I tell you how to reach me?

I loved your story about Jill. I was searching for her when I found it. I touched me. Thanks.

marymartha said...

I would love to find Jill again! you can email me at m@parksjohnson.com.

Anonymous said...

I too would love to find Jill! If anyone knows where she is, please post on this blog.

Thanks.

Sue Howard said...

Your story made me cry. Jill was my first and last and only friend in my five years in New York. When I read your description of her apartment, I could almost feel her sheets on my cheek when I slept in that other room, and the sunlight on my face drinking coffee by the window in the kitchen. She saved my life in those rooms.

The last time I saw Jill was in the early 90's when I was living in England and she visited me for summer solstice on her way to the Black Forest in Germany where she has remained - working in different countries - still in theatre.

Now, some 24 years years later, I found her on face book. not too long ago - she looks the same in her picture - and she sounds the same in her writing. You can find her there, surrounded by many friends who obviously love her as dearly as we do.

Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute to one of the most pure and giving spirits I have had the honour to be touched by. I love Jill Merzon and always will.

Sue

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm from Holland and I know Jill! She lives in Holland! I'm a singer and actress and I met her in a Theatre production, she is a special woman and she read tarot-cards for me. She is on Facebook, I hope you can all contact her that way. If that's not possible for people in the US, I can ask for her email-adress?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Martha, and old dear friends... Thank You so much for our time together. Our time in NYC was special, and it touched my heart, thinking back to my roots! I live in the Netherlands now, and still drinking coffee, and reading the Tarot! After many years of the theater world, I decided to come out of the broom closet, and read full time. Currently, I am teaching the tarot to a small class in Amsterdam.. My e-mail address is jmerzon@hotmail.com

Thank You for thinking of me. With love and light.. Jill

Anonymous said...

I knew Jill many, many years ago and I loved her. Such a sweet person and I am so sorry to have lost touch with her.