Monday, January 20, 2014
the one with the fake wedding: the second of three parties thrown in my honor, and why it was absolutely awful.
the second story of terrible parties definitely parallels the movement of being remarkably late for very important dates; so late, in fact, that by the time the day came, everything the date was centered around had already done died and gone away. I do not remember as many details as I definitely should; memories are static things anyway, and the worse a memory, the more likely, for me at least, that I attempt to forget it completely, which is especially so because I never talk about this, and I have never, ever written about the days around the happening.
it was 2003-- I know that because it was the year of all those wild storms and hurricanes that took a way parts of the south, piece by piece, and I am pretty sure it was summer time, see, because we had just moved into our own place, because he had just proposed to me (which is kind of an embarrassing story: it was during one of those hurricanes, and I was terribly sick from too much vodka the night before, having partied with my old friend Lindsey, and I was in the shower, puking, and he came in with a box of Burger King chicken things, and the silver ring from the stone jewelry store I worked at was in the chicken box and--). he decided to up and leave on my birthday, and I kind of went to pieces, or
went to pieces in a way that only could reflect the circumstances of the two years prior; where a good few people I loved very much had died, and he had just decided to go away, which may have been harder to take. I don't know, either way, but when he decided to come back, he had a list of things I needed to do, include buying a nine-hundred dollar bassoon, and marrying him, the next day, at the courthouse, at noon.
but we couldn't tell his family because they were religious. or unsupportive. or terribly afraid of surprises. or something. I remember the day we left the courthouse. we saw his mom across the street; she was leaving the criminal courthouse because she had testified as a witness to a robbery, and we didn't say hello because we weren't supposed to be there;
I worked at a basket warehouse for carnies. I unloaded trucks, and there was no air conditioning. in my work clothes, I sat on the desk at my parents' house, and my mom signed the marriage certificate because she was a notary. it never seemed official because it was too easy, but we were married: I had the ring, and eventually, the fake wedding.
the fake wedding was postponed three times because it was 2003, and there seemed to be a storm every weekend and hurricane parties were the place to be. when the day finally came, no one knew the date: I can't even remember. it was sometime in December because there were Christmas trees. there were koi fish on the tables, and they were terribly unhappy because it was freezing.
my mom officiated the wedding. I remember that; she looked beautiful, and I remember all the fighting: he and me, me and the maid of honor. me and my mom, my grandma-- the photographer. me and my aunts. the caterers. the families. the music did not play, so there was just this heavy tension in the air, that was only amplified by all the empty chairs.
and the food was spare because his aunt, the caterer, was upset that my mom's pilates friend was helping out too. I remember thinking, I have to do this to get divorced because no one really knew we had done it in the first place. and my mom's pilates friend stole some kitchen knives and silverware, and other things happened; I sat at a table by myself for a while. I cut the cake at some point and then
I disappeared. I was maybe at my fake wedding for an hour. maybe I was there. I left far before it was dark outside because I had really fallen through the looking glass that time, and I knew I was not being too fair. to anyone. because no one knew that it was over already, and pretending to be at the start of it all was kind of devastating.
I think I was married for six months. one night, I packed my suitcase and skipped town and hid out in Omaha for three months because who would ever, ever find me there. I dyed my hair red because I did not want to look familiar to anything. I studied at the library for six hours a day, spent four hours at the park, and the rest at either the bar or listening to records with a remarkably good friend. having this kind of structure was really a benefit.
I finally went back home, eventually. I finished my degree. I went back to Omaha for grad school. I lived in my brother's old bedroom;
I worked at a bookstore; I had new friends that did not know the old me. I lived on coffee. on cigarettes. on vodka and whiskey and black beans and rice. I watched a ridiculous volume of movies; I listened to records; I sewed clothes, and I became excellent friends with my parents and people. I hosted enormous parties.
everything went on moving, and I was someone else, and still now, no one ever, ever talks about any of this happening. until it almost happened again, which is the third and final almost party that was ever thrown for me. it is the final story of this series, and it's also how all of this ends as a comedy.