12 October 2010

Let's Remember Love

Even though my own understanding of love and promises implied by declarations thereof are woefully lacking, I did witness love this summer. And that must be remembered. I was in the presence of love, inspired by its strength and pushed to aspire to something I had not considered. I got high on love just days before it was taken from me. And that my dear (remaining) readers explains my blog exile. I witnessed love and was motivated to be a better partner. And not only did I never get the chance to try, I now know he knew it wouldn't happen. He made his decision, mourned and began to move on before he told me anything. He made sure to separate himself, to be sad for me, instead of with me. And in doing so, he put me in an extra lonely place, where my mind was free to replay years of memories, this time looking for lies. I'll be honest; I sit in that theater from time to time. I remember what I thought was the start of forever and I color everything with doubt. But for all the questions I raise about what was real versus what was wanted, I have (at least) one truth. I did witness love this summer. And that must be remembered.

It rained on my dad's wedding day. It was overcast when I woke up, misting by the time I went to get breakfast and drizzling by the time I brought my dad some food. I had thought to walk around the city with Jesse that morning, but I took too long getting ready. Jesse & Ty went on their own food adventure while I waited for Derek to arrive. My dad & I compared phones. He was very proud (almost one whole year ago) to get an iPhone. And I was very proud to shred his phone's capabilities with my Incredible. We walked around the balcony, which had a great view of the Empire State Building. My dad said it was the highest he'd ever been in the city. Somehow I doubt that. But whatever.

Ty & Jesse.

My dad telling me it wasn't raining.

Something special for the soon to be newlyweds.

Derek & Donnell arrived, and suddenly we were running out of time. The baby had to be fed. The bride had to be transferred. Vehicles needed to be loaded. Hair (not mine) needed to be done and redone. More vehicles had to be loaded. Children had to be counted. Naturally, we were late. Derek drove. I see why he would be a good EMT. Riding with him was a mix of wanting keeping my eyes closed and wanting to know when I was about to be ejected through the front window. My dad was proud.

Once we got to the venue, I had time to take a picture of my brothers and see the cake before I was whisked into the bridal prep room. I wasn't wearing make up, so I had to shimmered. I wasn't wearing jewelry, so I had to be glimmered. After that, I mostly just tried to stay out of the way. I sent my camera to Jesse, who had Donnell for the ceremony and couldn't really take any pictures.


Fear.

Cake.

Bride.

I can tell you the ceremony was nice. My dad was nervous. His shoulders were bunched and his hands were clamped. It was cute. Vows were exchanged. Stepsister Nesha and I mixed sand (which I was not told during rehearsal) and we all marched out to the stretched hummer that was supposed to take us to Central Park for pictures. The rain had stopped, which was great. But lunacy ensued. We piled into this giant vehicle. There had to have been a dozen of us at first. And there was no air conditioning. It was July. We all had on a lot of stuff. People started yelling and complaining. Donnell started to get irritable, So Derek started taking off his little tux. We circled the block twice, waiting for my dad and Deva. Just when I thought we were about to pick them up, my dad opened the back door and bellowed "everybody out." There was no room to disobey. We grabbed discarded shirts, ties, vests, jackets, water bottles and towels as fast as we could. There was grumbling about picking up 20 people without air conditioning, about hundreds of dollars being wasted and vows of "getting my money back." The Bridal party was flustered, but we pulled ourselves together (and got re-dressed) to take pictures across the street.

It was still really hot. Derek went back inside to give Donnell to Jesse. But Jesse was already gone. In the time it took us to drive around the block twice, he had disappeared. Stupid me thought he might have been in the bathroom. I mean why would my other half leave and not even send me a text message? Comforted by my own naivete, I wiped my brow and posed for pictures.

Bride & Groom.

And Again.

"I'm tired of standing up."

"No. I'm not going to smile."

Eventually Deva had enough. It was rally hot and there were no more pictures to take. Only we were way ahead of schedule. We didn't have any driving to do, so we were done and in the hallway at least a half an hour before the room was ready for us to enter. I stayed there because I was supposed to stay there, because we weren't supposed to be seen been we were announced. I sent Jesse a text inviting him to come down and say hi. He had actually blacked out before then. While I stood in the hallway hoping he wasn't too bored, he was actually having a great time without a care in the world. And he doesn't remember any of it, just the look on my face when I finally got to him - which was less than loving. He doesn't remember meeting my family, or that my dad introduced him as his son in law (which is huge in the history of my dad) or that there was a delicious spread foods he would have loved. He doesn't remember he told me he was done for the night, but went back to the bar when he thought I wasn't looking. And he doesn't remember deciding to leave just as the last song ended.

I remember being on edge. I was happy to be with my family, but afraid of what Jesse would do. I wanted to relax, but I wouldn't leave his side. I guess you could say I felt a disturbance in the force, and I didn't know how to handle it. So I did nothing. And at the end of the last song, he was gone. Yes I was angry. Yes I was embarrassed. But there was nothing I could do, except get as far away from questions as possible. Derek, Donnell, Ty, Nesha & I took a cab back to the hotel. They helped me relax and we had a good night. At one point Derek & Nesha went on a search for (food) Jesse, but he was still too drunk to tell them where he was.

Eventually a crumpled pile of Jesse did appear outside the hotel room door. But my Jesse was gone, if that makes any sense. I wouldn't see him again, happy and engaging. My Jesse left me and threw away everything we had, just as I had been thinking of ways to make our forever better. Talk about timing.