Monday, May 19, 2003

Love and Marriage...

Well, my youngest brother, Richard, got married this weekend.

I was there.

This is how it happened...

I left work early on Friday, a fine way to start a weekend no matter what you're doing, and headed to the airport. I couldn't believe the amount of senseless security they had. It was incredibly inane! I kid you not - they checked the buttons on my jacket!!! (I swear. I am NOT James Bond!)

The only thing that got me through this and the interminable wait at the gate was a woman with whom I'd sparked a conversation. Her name was Lana. She was quite beautiful and quite intelligent and live quite a long way away. She was returning home to Seattle whilst I was simply visiting. Oh well. But we had a nice conversation.

The flight was uneventful, if you'll excuse the fact that my "cheeseburger" tried to bite me.

Off the plane, now, and Dwight was waiting for me at the baggage claim area. As we waited for my suitcase to come from the heavenly chute (who thought of this system?!), Lana returned. We'd sat in different areas of the plane, so we didn't talk there. She approached me and said, "So, how was your flight?" Immediately, the "stupid statement" alarms went off but I tried to reply as best I could. "I was about five rows behind you so pretty much the same as yours." Now, the "stupid reply alarms" were blaring and she walked away to make them stop.

I hate Seattle. It used to be my favorite city but that was back when Rosa and I were together and in love, as opposed to now: divorced and in pain. So, I started smoking almost as soon as I was off the plane. And I kept on smoking that whole weekend.

It didn't help that, almost immediately, Dwight let me know how little he wanted to hear about how much I missed Rosa. And here I was, in a city where I see Rosa on every street, around every corner - I needed to talk about that. But, no. Dwight didn't want to hear it.

My sleep wasn't that good that night or even that weekend. Each night, I awoke from a nightmare about Rosa and how much I miss her and need her back, nightmares sparked, I think, by geography more than anything else. But, then, there was the fact of Richard's marriage - and any marriage can't help but remind me of mine... and my fuck up.

Saturday, I spent much of the day studying for my next staged reading. (Love & Politics. Hunger Artists Theater. Fullerton. May 31. Check local listings. Operators are standing by. Call now.) Much of my life in the next couple weeks will be spent with this script. Let's just say. I'll be busy.

But Saturday night was the wedding. It was beautiful. It was at a house that had been converted into a location for weddings and things (no, I don't know what they call that). The ceremony was in the garden. I've never seen Richard happier. Okay, I haven't seen Richard all that much so I know it doesn't count... still... Almost as soon as the ceremony started, I could feel a hand reach into my chest and grip my heart and I realized that I'd come here alone as I've walked alone as I've lived alone these past three plus years. Then, suddenly, I felt completely alone, shut off from everyone around me. And I knew I'd continue to be that way. And it was all my fault. Then, I couldn't help it. Tears started coming down.

And my dear step-mom, Blanche, reached over and took my hand, as if to say, "You're not alone."

But my emotions weren't done with me, yet. As the ceremony continued, all I could think of was how utterly alone my life was without Rosa and how desperately I needed her there and how I was the one who left. It was all my fault and there was no denying that, no stepping out of that. No relief. Only pain.

The day had been beautiful. Sunny - and that's something up there! But, suddenly, rain began to fall, and the ceremony wasn't yet over... but you could tell they started to hurry a bit. I squelched my own waterworks, focusing my attention back on the bride and groom, hoping - along with everyone else - that the rain would cease for just a moment.

Soon, they were done and they'd made it through the ceremony without any major catastrophes, only a few drops of water. Everyone went into the house... except me. I walked to the side of the building and spent about 20 minutes bawling my head off - and smoking. The presence of others snapped me out of it, some people I didn't know but pretended to be okay for.

Then, inside. Toasts. Food. Cake. Music. Fun. No Rosa.

Flying back the next day, I slept for most of the flight.

When will life stop being about getting through things and return to being about looking forward to things?

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