Love Blows @ Active Child

This is a story about Matthew Krocker.  Matthew falls in love a lot.  He fell in love several times the day before yesterday and if you catch him around town tomorrow he may fall in love right in front of your eyes.  Hell, he might even fall in love with you!

Matthew Krocker: 25 years old, 6 feet, 2 inches from the ground.  Blondish hair, doesn’t need to shave, doesn’t own a comb.  By all definitions good looking, blah blah blah!

Last Tuesday (which is 8 days from this present day which is a Wednesday) Matthew fell in love 6 times.  That brought his weekly average up from the previous week; he now falls in love roughly 13.4 times every 7 days.

That’s a lot of love.  (However Not a lot of lovin’)

Matthew is not a sex addict.  Quite the contrary, its been almost a year since he has found himself sweaty and all that next to one he loved and loved.  It’s a matter of principle really; he encounters beautiful and/or unique women and just…falls in love.  Also a matter of principle, Mr. Matt believes in ‘the one’.  Dumb right?

Random journal entry

 3/14/2011

She might have been the one, like really the one!  But how could I know?   Sometimes I think that every beautiful woman that I meet is the one.  New thought, what if they are all the one?  Like different aspects of the one and I am destined to fall in love with each and every one of them until finally in an explosive moment of destiny they all merge together into ‘the-super-undeniable-one’.  Ok like today I was driving down 4th st and I came to a stop on the corner by ‘X-amine’, and I look over to see the most amazing woman in the black BMW next to me.   Her hair was so black it looked blue and she had a smile that seemed to say “I’ve just come from half way across the world and am so glad to be home.”  I just wanted to take her face in my hands and tell her “you are beautiful!” Also: “I love you”.

(Below this entry was a series of unintelligible scribbling.  Who knows.)

_ _ _

      Matthew never feels the need to approach, pursue, or interact specifically with the women he falls in love with, he knows he loves them and that is enough.  Of course some day he would like all that to change, he just assumes that when the time comes he will just ‘know’.  Dumb much?

As previously mentioned, today is Wednesday.  Last night, Matthew was pushed, tripped, and fell into love.  He is sitting now in a coffee shop putting it into his dumb little journal.

Recent journal entry (literally minutes ago)

8/31/2011

I just smiled and tried to say hello to a stranger but this weird combination of oral fluids (less fluid-y than saliva, but not quite phlegm) adhered to the roof of my mouth and I blew a little bubble.  Gross.

I was at a concert last night.   I was just standing there minding the opening band when I happen to make eye contact with a woman behind me. She is standing with her girlfriend. Beautiful, but I wasn’t in love.  Fast-foreword to just before the headlining act: the girls are suddenly behind me and to my left, I recognize this out of my peripheral.  the beautiful on is wearing a headband/scarf of sorts, I can sense her leaning in to whisper to her friend and then they switch places so that she is closer to me.  Of course I am acting casual and nonchalantly watching the band set up, but inside I just know that I am the focal interest of the woman in the headband/scarf.  She bends down low to the ground as if resting her aching feet, but I just know that she is going to ‘accidentally’ bump me so that there is an excuse for conversation.  Of course this happens.  “I’m sorry” she says.  Trumping her pre-meditated apology comes along two very large men pushing their way between us on their way to the front.  “Now they are sorry” I respond.  She laughs and I am smugly proud of myself.  She tells me her name is Alexa; she is beautiful, but I am not in love.  There is some small talk and I she tells me she is a local, living near the ‘magic’ gas station.

The band is called Active Child.  They are so good.

They have a song called “When Your Love is Safe”.  So good.  Listen to it: here

Once the music started I notice that Alexa whispers to her friend again.  Every so many moments amid the sway of the crowd our bodies touch and I am very aware.  I just know that she is aware too.  I like the subtle way that our bodies are trying to make us communicate, but I keep watching the band and I am not in love.

Interesting note:  I keep getting the sensation that somebody is periodically blowing on my right shoulder blade.

Got distracted by the hot breath on my back.  Looked back and she was gone.  It’s the 2nd song and she is gone.  A stranger keeps blowing on the back of my shoulder and she is gone and I am suddenly in love.  Where is she?  The bathroom?  For sure the bathroom, her friend is still here.  Song 3, and mysteriously her friend is gone.  Internal panic, why?  Where did they go?

(More blowing.  Really?)

I try to smell myself to see if it was my body odor that insulted them.  I smell, but I’m in a sweaty crowd, everybody smells.  The rest of the concert is ruined because my mind cant stop creating scenarios in which I should have fallen in love earlier so as not to have lost her.  Ugh.

To make matters worse there is this short Asian man, 24 or so, who keeps blowing on my bare shoulder (I am wearing a tank-top).  Seriously bro, why?

So there I was loveless and getting blown in the worst way possible, the concert was ruined

After the encore, she is still gone and I am full-fledged in love.  I look everywhere but she is not to be found in any of the ‘everywhere’s’ that I look.  Gone.  Ugh.

Never figured out the short Asian mans deal.  Weird.  Walked home.

Good news: Alexa told me the general area in which she lives, I am here now in that general area, a coffee shop to be precise.  And so on and so on shall I sit here every day from now on until I ‘accidentally’ bump into her here and then I shall say “Alexa……………………………………………………………………………………………..”

(The rest of this entry is so badly scribbled that it is unintelligible.  Who knows.)

_ _ _

 

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Candy Grace and Trackless Trains

Daniel Macintosh woke in a cold sweat.  His wife’s words waxed a tenacious playground inside of his fatigued brain.  She stressed out his head.

“Don’t forget to confirm that the trackless train will be here at 2 sharp!”  She had implored.

‘2 sharp’ was 12 hours from this very cold sweaty moment.  Daniel had meant to call Happy Day’s Entertainment the day before to confirm that their last minute order of a trackless train for their sons 3rd birthday was in fact happening.  He had meant to do everything right this time.  He had meant to make up for last year.  He had not meant to get drunk.

“Nothing I can do about it now.”  He whispered, half to himself, half to his sleeping bride.  His breath was like crushed black pepper and caviar.  Carrie was a heavy sleeper and no doubt was doing cartwheels over Holland wearing nothing but a pair of stained underpants.  She was on her period.  The part that stains your underpants and everything.

Her cartwheels were interrupted by a cloud of pepper and caviar, she turned over in her sleep as she tried to avoid getting caught in that black rain.  Daniel went back to sleep, promising to himself that he would wake up early and call to confirm.

Daniels morning was spent with a stressed out head.  Carrie was spewing orders to anyone that would listen trying to arrange the tables and chairs and everything.  The bounce house showed up at 10am and Daniel paid the delivery boy before sneaking inside to call about the train.

Busy.
Busy.
Disconnected.
Voicemail.
Stressed-out-head.

Daniel came back outside to take his share of orders.  Carrie’s period was shaping the party up nicely.  Tables boasted white tablecloths with Thomas Train centerpieces and matching napkins.  The food trays were neatly arranged and there was an entire tabletop devoted to Candy.  Candy is rearranged sugar and mostly was invented by dentists during a depression to attract consistent clientele from a younger age. Straws filled with sugar, packets filled with sugar that you dipped a sugar stick in and licked, balls of sugar-gum, chewy fruity sugar, sugar on a stick, sugar that explodes in your mouth.  All this sugar in bright colorful packaging that convinced desperate mothers that happiness for their children was impossible without it.  These sugar-candies came mostly from foreign factories where children with no teeth worked for no pay.

The first guest arrived at 12:24pm.  It was Eduardo Jimenez, Dan’s longtime friend and vivacious pool rival.  He had brought a machine that made and kept chopped frozen ice onto which he would pour bright colorful liquid corn sugar.  The children would now be that much more happy.  After Eduardo, the company trickled in until 87.4 percent of the guest list was there.  At no time during the party would more than 87.4 percent of the guest list be present.

With his right knee tapping his right foot nervously against the pavement, Daniel sat drinking a beer with Eduardo.  Eduardo was boasting over his victory during their last pool game.  Dan was not in the mood, all he could think of was the train.  It was careening trackless in his stressed-out head.  Then it came.  1:36pm, even better than ‘2 sharp’.  The driver hauled the train in a large white pick up truck that ran on diesel fuel.  He hauled 3 colorful train cars and 1 tractor with a colorful train engine shell.  The tractor ran on petroleum fuel.

The driver parked the truck and then sauntered towards the party.  He was wearing blue jeans and a red shirt.  He wore a funny looking zebra striped fedora-esque hat.  It wasn’t the hat that was funny looking; it was just funny looking on him.  It was a woman’s hat.  There was a picture of him in this funny hat here:  http://www.laweekly.com/slideshow/the-dodos-reading-rainbow-el-rey-theatre-33004235/26/

The driver had jet-black hair drawn back in a rat’s tail and an auburn beard.

This was I.

I walked up to Jacob’s 3rd birthday party calm and smiling.  I was unconscious of the fact that I was not wearing a conductor’s uniform or hat, I felt like a conductor, why did I have to look like one.  I was immediately approached by a man I could only assume was Jacobs daddy.  He seemed nervous and annoyed and relieved and came towards me with arms outstretched.  I shook his hand.

“I’m Daniel, Jacobs daddy”  His breath was hot and sour.
“I’m David, Jacob’s conductor”
“You don’t look much like a train conductor”
“Yes, but I feel like one!  Plus I drive the train, ergo…conductor!”
“Is it safe?”
“I’m safe!”

I proceeded to unload the train, and after a brief orientation 16 kids high on sugar boarded my jolly neighborhood express.

I have not always enjoyed being the conductor of this trackless train.  I am used to driving a small blue 1998 Nissan Sentra that is capable of parking in the tightest spots on this planet.  The large white F-350 that I have to drive the train in stresses out my head.  I have a tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios of the train tumbling off the back of the truck while I am going 80 on the free-way.  The yellow car tumbles off first and causes a 67-car-pile-up.  The blue car is next to go and screams thru the center divider causing a 9-car-pile-up which blocks all 4 lanes for the opposing traffic.  Finally, the red car and the engine tumble together and cause an explosion that destroys Southern California.

Then of course there is driving the tractor/train itself.  The very first time I ‘conducted’ this 3-car excuse for a locomotive I was stressed out in the head.  I did not think through the fact that taking a load of 20 kids made the train heavy.  I did not think through the fact that I only had one set of shitty brakes on the tractor (no brakes on the individual cars).  I thought it was a good idea to go down a steep hill, on a street, with cars.  I did not think though this idea.  So there we are, going 100 miles per hour, children screaming with delight and me realizing I can’t stop this damned rig!  I blacked out.  When I came to, the train was stopped on a side street I had somehow managed to swerve into.  The engines belts were overcome by the speed and it would no longer run, the children had to walk 3 blocks back to their house.  I called my boss, “I’m stressedoutinthehead!” I said.

I have since achieved excellent conduct when it comes to conducting.  Safe.

Up and down the neighborhood streets I conducted Jacob and his little friends.  Two of these friends, Tara and Sara, chose to ride in the front seat every time so that they could taunt me.

“Go faster!”
“Swerve more!”
“Swerve less it gives me a headache!”
Giggles.

Then they offered me a piece of chewy sugar that looked like a marble.  I smiled and put the gum between my beard and into my mouth.  They laughed with delight, I am not sure why.  Consequently, every time we would stop between rides, Tara and Sara would bring more gum-balls for me to chew.  The other children caught on, and before long I was being bombarded with little gifts.

I was up to about 19 gumballs and could barely chew.
“Blow a bubble!  Blow a bubble!  Blow a bubble! The children screamed.

I blew a bubble.  I set a record.  I did not think this through.

The train rides were over and I sat on the sidewalk picking chewy sugar out of my beard with the help of a cosmetic mirror offered by Daniel’s wife Carrie.  More gifts came.  Crackers, cookies, and candies all in their individually colorful wrappers.  The kids absolutely loved bringing me gifts.

The mind of a child, brilliant and innocent.  Tara and Sara loved giving simply because it feels good to see someone else receive.  They loved giving just because it is giving.  It didn’t matter that they had not purchased these goodies, that for all intensive purposes it wasn’t even theirs to give.  They didn’t even know where it came from.  When one child did it all the others followed suit because it felt good; it was fun to give.  It felt right.  When the day was over, I literally had buckets of bright colored sugar surrounding me.

Daniel came over to pay me.  He seemed relaxed in the head.
“Looks like you did well for yourself”
“Kids.” I laughed

When I got home that night I realized that I had earned so much more than my 100/hr rate for driving the train.  I had undeservedly earned the respect and love of these children.  I had received Grace in the form of sugary treats from unknown origins.

I unwrapped a chocolate bar and called to make an appointment with my dentist.

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Inspiration.

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Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking (On Time)
Sometimes I need drugs
Sometimes I am sick and this is why I need drugs
I don’t have as deep an appreciation for medicine as I should
A modern miracle is unimpressive, contrived, diluted

Sometimes I need a miracle
I have a tendency towards the precarious and this is why I need a miracle
I have a deep appreciation for the fantastic, but can’t express it
A modern miracle may perform in me authenticity

Often I gaze at nothing
Lensing in a beautiful little world, but to you it would seem that I gaze at nothing
It is unimpressive compared to reality, if I would be reasonable. Compare.
But here I am the creator; I bought the paint didn’t I?

Often I get nothing done
Often I make ‘To Do’ Lists and this is why nothing gets done
I don’t have an understanding of time like my elders, my authors
Time is to me something that gets in the way of itself, and me. Bother.

Sometimes I need advice
Sometimes I need contrived
Sometimes I need to be outside of the me that is outside of myself
Someday I will look back at all I have done. Nothing. Contentment.

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Blind Ambition

Location: KJ’s Coffee Bar, Denver CO


Listening: Drive By Truckers – “Go-Go Boots”

Paint is peeling of the walls immediately to my right. To my left sharing the couch was a young college girl crocheting.
She just left.
Just me left.
The coffee shop on the corner of 25th and Gilpin in Denver is for the moment completely empty, save the lone barista who sits in a small room in the back dreaming up new color schemes for her recently acquired apartment. I nod to her as I let myself behind the counter to re-fill my mug with metallic infused end-of-the-day coffee.
“Would you like an Ysi Float?”
“What?!” I reply, startled into a nostalgic moment of my past.
I smile, catching myself, “Uh, I mean, what is that?”
“Just an Izze soda on top of vanilla ice cream! So tasty.” Is the reply.
I look outside. Ice shavings from a scratched sky fall in slow motion, soft, frozen and wonderful. The thought of a cold sugary treat transports me back in time to this very place years earlier when the sun shone, I was floating on clouds then and might well have jumped at the opportunity for an ‘Izze’.
“No thank you” I smiled, perhaps more politely than usual. “I’ll stick to this hot coffee, it’s delicious.” I lied.

Back in my couch corner, I let the hot mug burn my hands trying to focus on the events of the past week. I was here in Denver to continue in the writing process of a batch of songs I felt would be trivial if they were born in any other state.
Song Names:
Panic
You Can Taste It On My Tongue
I’ll Get Mine (A Long Time Coming)
Do Me (Thru And Thru You Do Me Good)
Cat’s Cradle: This Is Not a Game

Here are some notes from this effort gathered from scrawled napkins, journal entries, and cardboard beer coasters.

Day 1: (Monday)
-8 pm. Arrived Late.
-Begin work on ‘I’ll Get Mine”
-Break for beers and whiskey
-Tim breaks the part of the drum set by drunkenly throwing pieces at Isaac. Neither of them will remember this incident and the broken left-foot snare pedal will remain a mystery.
-Jam. Jam. Jam.
-Head spinning. Sleep.

Day 2: (Tuesday)
-Hangover?
-Breakfast Burritos. Reading the Onion. Morning Cigarettes.
-Afternoon writing session (10 min?)
-Naps.
-More Jams…ect

Day 3: (Wednesday)
-Shopping for the empty cupboards
-Breakfast of Champions: Eggs, Bacon, Avocado, Orange Juice
-Naps? (Why? Because naps are awesome, and necessary apparently)
-Stranahans Colorado Whiskey Tour. Learned about whiskey from the Courtney, a ‘9’ on a ‘1-10’ hotness scale based on knowledge of spirits.
-Pizza…then more Jamz.

Day 4: (Thursday)
-Afternoon wake&write session
-Burrito at the first Chipotle to exist. (It still tastes the same.)
-Tattered Cover Bookstore: Purchased Kurt Vonnegut’s’ ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ and David Levithan’s ‘Lovers Dictionary’
-Bar tour on Colfax St.
-Met Michelle. A single woman in her thirties whose efforts to single-handedly remodel an old home have spanned 3 years only to be thwarted this day when the winds landed the grand oak tree in her front yard right through her roof! She needed a drink. She bought me one.
-No Jamming.
-Sleep. Dreams about making love.

Day 5: (Friday)
-And so on.
Day 6: (Saturday)
-Late night bike ride with Isaac and his Father.
-Inspiring conversations.
-Sleep.
-And so on.
Day 7: (Sunday) Today.
-Sleep.
-Snow.
-Nostalgia.
-No Jaming.
-And so it goes.
Day 8: (Monday) Tomorrow.
-(Panicing so much that you can taste it on my tongue because although it’s been a long time coming I didn’t get mine and this trip did me in. Non-productivity: this is not a game)

As I wrap up these thoughts I notice a woman entering the coffeehouse. She bears a small colored cane and smiles aimlessly at me on her way to the front counter. Conversation ensues.
Something about fungal infections, Eczema, and strange disorders they both seem to share.
I only clearly caught the last sentence.
“Will I sit on anybody if I sit on the couch”
“I don’t think so.” The barista replies nodding to me with a concealed smile.
I now have company. She is sipping Chai and listening to books on tape. Not mp3s, not CDs, but tape-recorded. Her headphones are wrapped around her head backwards. I know nothing about her, but for a moment I am jealous. Me. With my own perfectly good two eyes. With my own perfectly-good healthy body. Jealous because I can see something in her eyes that she will never be able to. Something that assures me that she has come to a point of absolute contentment and acceptance, capable now of enjoying things to the heightened extreme of all senses. I know then that her cheaply foamed Chai Latte must be the best tasting thing in all Denver at that moment, and I am jealous.

Before traveling out here I had an idea for the productivity of this trip. I had lists, goals, determinations, and whims. These were interpolated by the dusty goodness, which is living, life, or something alone those lines. I did not get as much done (jamming, recording, collaborating) as I had imagined, but so much more was accomplished. I remembered what it was like to be in Love. Not with a person, but with a city, with a breath of fresh air, with the little things. I was reminded of the simple joys of contentment. Just be.
Just be, and you will become.
I am content. Whilst it is true that I did not finish the musical project I started out to, I will be back. I desire to, and I must.

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What I want…Sky

Automated message: “Hello.  This message is for Mr. David Webster. Your flight to Denver has been affected by…Cancellation… To hear this message again…

Click.
Shit. So its 5:30 in the morning and I have just arrived at LAX to the dismal truth that I will not be boarding by 6:30. Instead I join the horde of disgruntled tourists, businessmen, and families who shuffle bags between the guarded rails on our way to find the solution. For some the solution will be a hotel comp, others will stand-by, and the lucky few will find a damn seat on a damn plane.
I stand in line pretending to read Douglas Copeland’s “Life After God” while I peer at the faces surrounding me. We are all in the same boat, and yet everybody feels his or her story is special. They will bombard the little old lady at the front desk with complaints, arguments, excuses, and expectations
“I NEED to be on a plane NOW!”
“I WILL be late (which is all your fault!)
“I have a VERY Important meeting
“I am giving BIRTH!”
“I was supposed to Bomb…oops never mind”
“I AM an asshole!”
And so on.
The blame of the planes mechanical shortcomings will undoubtedly be shat on little old Miss Dalia as she try’s to explain that it is spring break and that no flights will be available until the following morning. I begin to take note of my new temporary family.
Asian women directly to my front.
Asian women directly to my rear.
Further behind me is Fred. Fred is tall, almost too tall. He has that kind of grating grey hair that makes you want to rub it between your fingers to see if it will make funny noises, or merely disintegrate to your touch. Fred is a dad. His son missed this very flight the day before and Fred is pissed. Pissed at his son. Pissed at me for being in front of him in line. Pissed at Miss Dalia, whom he has not even met yet and will never see again. (Unless she holds a bitchin’ grudge!)
Behind Fred is Danny. Oh, wait, now Danny is in front of Fred. Now in front of the two Asian women to my rear. And… “Excuse me, my flight leaves in 20 minutes, do you mind if I get in front of you in line? I don’t want to miss it…” I look at this sweet mid-30’s man with his track suite and shaved head, thinking to myself…Sad. He either doesn’t know, or he is a liar preying on people’s awkwardness to push himself to the front of the line. I let him in front of me because it was 6:10 in the morning. It felt awkward.
Danny’s Journey continues and draws my attention to Vickie, Sara, and Thomas. I question why it took this long for me to notice them. Somewhere a plastic surgeon is feeling a wave of pride that could have swallowed 3 Japans, Vickie is modern medias depiction of great beauty. She stands tall in 4” heels; her 40-something year old body had the shine and luster of a 19 year old swimming champion. She wears herself in a way that begs to be noticed, I manually moved her neckline higher by lifting the pages of my book. Don’t. Get. Distracted. Her as-of-yet-un-augmented 22 year old daughter stands beside her. She is a picture of her mothers early vanity in the same way that her mother was the picture of her future. Their hair was eerily similar. You can tell a lot about someone by their hair. This mother-daughter duo was the type who looked immaculate no matter what hour their awakening would bequest, I tugged at my own headband and unwashed hair and smiled to myself, If they had noticed me I am sure they would have been nearly offended by my hair. Brother/Son Thomas meanwhile loved my hair. Believe me.
Danny in the meanwhile had almost made it to the front of the line, only to be finally given the bad news by someone nearly twice his size who was LATE and not about to be pushed around by some 30 something unimportant thing-a-ma-bob. This was Charles, not Charlie, mind you, Charles. He had not woken up on the wrong side of the bed because he had smashed the bed to bits and slept on a pile of splinters, nails, and old beer cans. While I shudder to think of him in his natural habitat, Charles does clean up rather well. He stood at the front of the line in a classic suit and tie, just waiting for a chance to swing away at poor old Miss Dalia. He finally got his chance, but she went in the back and a comparably sized black man in a similar suite took her place.
This was Dwayne, one of the night managers. Dwayne wanted to go home. He was tired but had achieved a small victory of not having had the Laker’s game spoiled for him. He was going home to a breakfast of grape juice and leftover pizza and then he got the call about the engine fail, coupled with the joyous news that he was not getting shifted out until 9 am. Dwayne was not upset, but in rather the opposite way had a giddy playfulness to his manner. This was not Charles’s medicine. As Charles approached the front desk it was like watching two seasoned gladiators about to face off on ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?”
“Hello Sir, how can I help you.”
“I am an ASSHOLE!”
“yes sir I understand, we will get you on the quickest next available flight.”
“I don’t think you understand, I’m a real DUCHBAG!”
“You and everone else sir, this is the best I can do for you.”
“Do you know who you are talking to? I am a JERK-OFF!!!
I didn’t see who struck first. I have to assume that it was Charles because his flame went out first. The ensuing commotion would delay the rest of us another 3 hrs. When it was all said and done, Dwayne was at home asleep with 3-day-old pepperoni in his teeth, and Charles was on his way to prison, Asshole prison.
The line finally got moving again, (after the witnesses, paperwork, ect…) and it would not be much longer until some of us were in the sky or some version of it. I noticed a guard walk to the middle of the line, cut the guard-rail for a moment and allow Vickie, Sara, and Thomas to enter a more expedited line. Damn those fake breasts! She gets out of this crazy line just because of those frauds! Damn men and their infantile tendencies and testosterone-drenched decisions. Then I noticed the marquee above her new fast-pass line. “MILITARY”
“Shit. I paid for those!” I exclaimed to no-one.
Then I remembered I don’t pay taxes. Smiles.

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I-do-you


Where: Coffee

Listening: Underworld – “Barking”

A wedding is a wedding is a wedding. And then there are the weddings of your best friends. As I was following nibbles of filet mignon with sips of Cabernet I watched family and friends celebrating the union of Mr. Richard Freer and Miss Abigail Martin. The formula was evident. Pictures, A short ceremony, contrived ‘epic’ music, smiles, arms in arms, ‘I do’s’, more pictures, dancing, speeches, it was all there. Somehow it seems like the better you know a person however, the more these trivial formulaic a, b, and c’s seem like the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. Surely this is the most bestest wedding, perhaps you note, only rivaling the weddings of your other best friends. This is no surprise. I know Richard. Therefore the decisions that he made regarding this day along with his family and new bride are familiar. Familiarity therefore breeds a certain sense of bias. That being said, I won’t bore myself with the specifics of this truly beautiful day, it was just that, truly beautiful ( if you are pure-bred hipster that is).
I can’t even begin to recount how many conversations I had with strangers, often facilitated by awkward seating or spacial anomalies. I was forced to relive my own failures of not passing the NCLEX-RN exam as countless elders asked what I had studied in school. ‘But’ I would elate, ‘I am not sure that is what I really want to do anymore’. Even with a shot of 12 year scotch whiskey in my stomach i could not honestly believe that. Or could I? I would begin to talk of my entrepreneurial outlook on life, only to be left in the haze of cigar smoke as a better distraction than I would arise. It was in a self-sought moment of silence that I stood watching the first dance, creating my own cloud, when a voice beside me said ‘It kinda makes you sick doesn’t it?’
Ok. Stop.  A million things go through my head.  There are however,  only a few ways to answer such a question.  I will pick 3.

1. “yes”, “Uh-huh”, or “yup”. Alternatively a slow nod with a subtle grimace could accomplish this same goal. This reply would characterize an internal feeling of discontent and or bitterness with the event, or marriage in general. “Get your hands/heart/sexual organs off him, he is my friend!” Come on! What did I ever do to deserve the relational Dillinger’s picking off my friends one at a time with their soft skin, sweet tempers, and anatomical sentiment. I thought we would be the bold bachelors saving the world with our innovation and passion. The irresistible revolutionaries. This reply is selfish. So am I.

2. “No”, “Ah-uh”, or “Of course not, it is ‘truly beautiful'”. The individual who answers thus is either already hitched or possesses an uncanny desire to fall privy to such status in the near future. But all cynicism aside, it is beautiful. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord.” (Prov. 18:22) Favor from the Lord? Who wouldn’t want that. It makes option 1. above seem like a devout agnostics whining. Friends, family, food, dancing, music, soft colors, love, the promise of absolute fidelity. This reply is hazily romantic. So am I.

3. “Huh?”, “Whatever do you mean?”, or “Sick? do you need help getting to the loo?!” Naivety expressed thusly could mean one of two things. Either you cannot justly comprehend what the marriage ceremony actually means, or you are awkwardly dancing internally to the fact that you carry an amount of sentiment from both options 1. and 2. This position is lost in the grandeur of the party, the swift sway of voices, and perhaps a masked sense of loneliness, regardless of relationship status. Childlike perhaps. So am I.

Conversation:

Unknown: “it kinda makes you sick doesn’t it?
Me: “Uh-huh. I mean no. Wait, whatever do you mean?!”
Unknown: “you know, like the party is always for someone else. like you have been left behind. Like you will be lonely forever.”
Me: (now starting to feel it) “It mustn’t. I have to hold on hope, not that I will never be lonely, but that I am already not.  That the party is for all of us.”

I walked away. It was too late tho, the thoughts of loss, loneliness, and impending uncertainty had already altered my mind.
I am Happy. I am happy for my friends. They have found love, joy, and new families. They are starting new chapters and penning masterpieces the likes of which only God can preview. I am happy that I will get to be a part of it. The cliché of losing a brother to gain a sister, something like that. I look forward to the dinner parties, the late (but not too late ; ) conversations about new discoveries and next steps. Richard is not the first of my close friends to permanently lasso himself to love, and he will not be the last. Hell, I look forward to the day when he is in my wedding.
Still, I don’t deny where my thoughts go. I guess to be in love you have to let go of selfishness. I guess that’s why I am not in love. I guess.

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