This weekend I attended the wedding of John and Danielle. I've known Danielle since I was 14, she's a fellow cop's kid in smalltown southwest Michigan, and we bonded in our years in high school writing for our vaguely anarchic student newspaper. Later, we have solidified our friendship here in the Baltimore/DC area. She met John, a real good guy, a few years ago, and I count both of them as good friends - and Danielle's my oldest friend. Damn right I was going to this wedding even though it cost a pretty penny.
There's a neat freedom that comes from traveling alone. Perspective is gained from the unencumbered adventure of the journey. However, traveling by myself sometimes leads to way too much self-reflection and doubts, and, that, coupled with the usual god-I'm-lonely-and-am-27-and-when-the-hell-is-this-going-to-happen-for-me thoughts that I have whenever I attend a wedding, made me sad at times. I knew only a couple people there, and my excitement over the possibility of seeing Annie for the first time in years, or Dave for the first time since he moved to Sweden, were all for naught... neither could make it. I knew almost no one there, and I sometimes felt like my solititude stuck out in neon lights. I didn't like the glare all the time, and even slipped out of the rehearsal dinner post-party and no one noticed. This weird paradox of feeling like I'm invisible versus feeling like everyone is staring at me and feeling sorry for me because I'm alone and quiet isn't a fun way to spend an evening. This is why I don't like parties unless I know people there.
Day two was the day of the wedding, and that was much better. The ceremony was a good one, a complete reflection of the bride and groom, with some good music (Ben Harper, Dar Williams, John Legend) and poetry (Nikki Giovanni, May Swenson). The weather was rainy all morning, as well as all evening, but cleared up to the point of blazing sun for the wedding ceremony - it couldn't have been planned better. Earlier in the day, I agreed to drive to Portland (an hour away) to pick up a guy from DC who I had never met before, a friend of Danielle's. We had decided to share a hotel room and rental car cost and that worked out pretty well. He was a good guy, a gay guy with a pretty good sense of humor about things. When "We Are Family" was played at the wedding, he came up to me and said, "I know I'm supposed to love this song, because I'm a fag and all, but I hate it." It was definitely good to have a gay guy help take care of my appearance. He showed me how to use a steamer to iron my shirt and told me about the dog hair on my suit. My own personal queer eye. He was in a similar spot to me in not knowing many people, but he knew more than me, plus he danced and I really don't. I spent a lot of time watching the dance floor and taking advantage of the open bar.
After the wedding and reception, though, is when things got good. We were invited out to the cabin, a place deep in the Maine wilderness. There, we played euchre and drank more. It reminded me of a high school party, in that it was deep in the woods, even though I never touched alcohol until I was a couple of years out of high school.
The highlight of the evening was making out with this cool crazy black chick named Teresa, a bridesmaid at the wedding. She was the clear charismatic center of the party, or at least the euchre room, and I wanted her from the moment we walked in - she was funny, pop-culture savvy, smart, and, wow, had a nice set, which she flaunted everywhere, telling people that no one had earned the right to look at her rack just yet. She then looked at me, said I was a hottie (my first time being called that, ever, I think, and it confirmed my suspicions that I look damn good in my suit) and did her best to make me squirm, which she did a great deal. When I said I liked Ella Fitzgerald, she said, "You really are doing your best to get yourself laid tonight, aren't you?" and stuck her tongue in my mouth. She was fun, and to be honest we probably would have done it if there was an open room because that is not something I had qualms about last night, but there wasn't so it was just second base for me. But that's not bad. I found out later that had made out with a 15-year old boy earlier in the day, and was defending it, saying she had made that boy's adolescence. I think she really was crazy, not only in the fun crazy way, but really crazy. My aforementioned hotelmate for the night, who knew her from college, later told me this. As Danielle would say, she's probably the cute fucked up girl (CFUG) type that I'm drawn to like a moth to a flame, similar to the CFUG Polish girl at the restaurant. Anyhow, Teresa took my e-mail address in between bouts of groping but I doubt I'll hear from her ever again, and besides, she lives in Indianapolis.
Today was a decent day. The trip from the tiny Maine town to the airport in Portland is about an hour, and full of tiny seafood restaurants and diners. We stopped at one diner, and then its kitchen caught on fire so we had to go to the next one. We eventually found our breakfast, and made it to the airport at 12:25 for our 12:45 flight. Miraculously, we made it on the plane, and I'm now back home, ready to relax with The Simpsons and my weight set.
Three more days of school, all without students. My two months of unpaid vacation are almost here.
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