Last Saturday, I watched one of my close friends and great supporters in life get married. It was a day she was waiting for her entire life and seemed far removed from several lifetimes ago that I first met her in the dim lit club where she mixed me an unknown concoction of drinks. It was the very same night that N came out just having met her for the first time three weeks prior. It was a pivotal day, meeting two people who have both touched and changed my life.
Those days seem far removed now – my friend no longer mixes drinks in risqué outfits and was last seen in a loft, wearing a strapless white dress, kissing the man she plans to spend the rest of her life with. N no longer sports halter tops, was last seen wearing a fashionable tank at a Starbucks. I still wear suits, was last seen in a dark room, past the unopened toys, grasping unto one of the few things that G left behind. It seems I took the scenic route to where I was seventeen years ago when my father passed away. I was left in the unknown and to my own devices. He knew his health was on the decline and was hurriedly making preparations, many of which never were completed or saw fruition.
Today is probably going to be the hardest day I’ll have to face.
Friends not in the know of recent events have called, greeted me with “Happy Father’s Day,” which seems to strike a pain in my chest every time. How do you tell someone that your life that is in chaos in five minutes? What else can you say? Thanks for the offer, but I must refuse?
At my friend’s wedding, there was a gentleman that sat at my table, someone I knew by name who I used to work with lifetimes ago when I hosted events. He was a general manager for one of the top venues at the time, and I would occasionally reserve areas at his venue. We spoke several times back then, but I never met him until that evening, more than ten years later for the first time at my friend’s wedding. We traded war stories over scotch. There seemed to be several people from the old life in attendance. Like most of the people in the industry and in the room, he was no longer in the industry. Now in his mid 40s, he sells RVs.
There was a tall blonde girl sitting at the table as well. After dinner, I was thinking about saying my goodbyes and heading home. She stopped me, offering me a white rose and asked me to stay and have a drink. We talked over Macallan and Glenlivet. We ended up finishing both bottles and became “Scotch buddies for the evening”. Before the bartender had that chance to open another Macallan, she told me that she thinks her boyfriend may be getting jealous…
Either from the alcohol or the irony of the situation, perhaps both, I found myself laughing hard on the inside, although I offered a smirk in exchange. It is situations like this that I can find myself in trouble… Perhaps I need to stop taking cues from Hank Moody.
“What’s there to be jealous about?” It is in these few seconds, you get a sense of someone, especially to what’s said next…………..
Her focus still remains on me. She smiles, then leads me back to the bar where another Macallan is already being poured. Cheers. To my new Scotch buddy. She then takes my hand and we have our picture taken. She leads me to the dance floor, where her boyfriend is dancing as well, five feet away from us.
I look back and can call myself many things that evening. It was not so long ago that I played the other role. If things were slightly different, I may have found myself in Cali as well, or perhaps N would be in New York….
As the music played, I looked over and saw my dear friend, the bride dancing. She looks happy. I’m happy for her. I want to be that happy. But as this evening starts to come to a close, all I have on my mind is a future in RV sales, a jealous boyfriend, tall women and how I never got around to having a Dewar’s, for old time’s sake. But I always keep a bottle at home, just in case.
That night, a couple of thousand miles away, G has just fallen asleep. He turns on his side as he starts to dream. A couple of years ago, N is driving to her moms. She will be gone until early afternoon. A couple of lifetimes ago, my friend is pouring a gin and tonic as N puts out the Macanudo I was smoking. I lost my cigar as well as my rimless glasses I kept behind the bar that night. I haven’t had a cigar since.
Today will be a difficult day; but I think about G and look at the photos littered all over my wall.
I’m making pancakes for breakfast.
“But he did not understand the price.
Mortals never do.
They only see the prize, their heart’s design. Their dream…
But the price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted.”