Waking up at noon is not something I like. I've been doing that more and more, what with my later and later schedule. I really need to rearrange the trend, make myself one who functions during the days. I figure, within a month or two, I'll be back on track.
On Saturday, after an especially late Friday night, I got up at noon.
"Oi," I said to the absence in my bedroom, knowing I had shit to do.
I trudged over to the computer and started writing. I had a gig that day, and needed some original material for it.
In the nigh-REM state, the writing was pretty easy. It was a quick script, for a quick performance in the early afternoon.
By three ten, I was heading uptown to the Bronx.
I got to Liz and Terence's building a little after four. Liz came down to get me, all in white, and brought me up to her aunt's apartment. A couple of people had arrived.
"Jon, this is Bill, and this is Suzanne."
Suzanne was gorgeous. Something clicked, but I didn't know what it was.
"I need a printer," I said to Liz.
"Just a moment," she said, going to the door, "That's Jenny."
Jenny and Shad came in. Jenny was gorgeous.
Every now and then, Liz tells me about friends of her that I'd not met. Since I'm the only friend of Liz's that matters, the list of alleged other friends in slight. Among them was her way cute friend Jenny, whom, before meeting, I'd professed undying love for. I'd finally met a year or so ago. She was cute, married, and a mother.
Suzanne on the other hand, turned out to be another friend I'd heard about years ago. Back in '92, I was told about this doctor-m-training that was real cute. I'd fallen in love with her, sight unseen.
Now I'd seen her, and my love was just as strong as before.
Which reminds me of an old poem:
I hate your nose. And your hair. Your smile and your clothes.
I hate how you look into my eyes, pretending to see something deep or important there, and tell me, "That's very smart."
I hate when you smile at my stupid stories and laugh at my dumb jokes.
I hate that you and your god forgive all my sins, and how you swear you care, and you'd never do anything to hurt me.
I hate how you're good and sweet and considerate. I hate that you complete parts of me I forgot were missing, or never knew. I hate how you see me cry, and how you're the only one to do this to me. I hate that it took me so long to say this.
And I really hate your husband.
Suzanne had married Bill, apparently, soon after Liz had mentioned her, lo those many years ago.
No matter. I had things to do that day other than lust after married women – though, really, that should always be given some certain priority.
Terence took me up to his apartment so I could print out some pages and pocket most of them.
"You look slick," I told Terence.
"I'm surprisingly nervous," he said.
"Well, don't worry. All eyes will be on me. It's really my show."
He laughed, and we went back downstairs.
"Whenever you're ready," Liz told me.
"Cool," I replied, put on my judge's robe, and put Terence in place before me.
"Ladies and gentlemen," I said, "We're about ready to begin."
They quieted down, until Liz appeared with Jenny on her arm, and her Aunt Marian, one of the ringleaders of the event, began humming the wedding march.
Everyone laughed, as the two ladies marched down, and Jenny handed Liz off to Terence, and they both faced me, angled so the fifteen people present could see their profiles, but mostly, me.
I began to read my script:
"Love is a many splendord thing
Love is all you need.
Love is never having to say you're sorry
And I'm sorry, but when I see the love that exists between INSERT NAME and INSERT NAME, it just makes me feel so very special. As If I am in the sight of a once-in-a-lifetime vision.
If anyone in this room can experience on fourth of the genuine affection that my close personal friends, TRENT and ELISA have for each other, we would be truly blessed.
I'm sorry. I can't go on…."
I crumpled up my sheet of paper, and said, "This is crap. This was written in fifteen minutes, and I don't think it's any good. I'm going to have to speak from my heart, and tell you what I really think."
Then I reached into my pocket, took out the rest of my script, and returned to reading.
It got the requisite laugh. It's a cheap shot, but it always seems to work.
"We are gathered here today… Liz, you're not pregnant, right?
We are gathered here today to celebrate the fake union of Liz and Terence, who really, in the eyes of god and the governments of three minor states are already married.
It's a good opportunity for those who know and love Terence and Liz to come together and toast to their happiness in all things, and more importantly, to eat. There IS food, right?
Marian and her friend Carol came up with this. Liz and Terence have lived in infamy for a couple of years now, and I think the oldster's thought a faux wedding would be fun, but might also set a fire under their butts. The reason didn't matter. Liz had first invited me to attend the bash, then to officiate at the wedding. I'd agreed to each.
"I don't know about you," I read, "but I never ask friends and family if they're in love, or if they're happy. Those are kind of huge questions, and I never think to ask them.
And weddings, fake or otherwise, aren't really about love, or happiness. They're about consolidation of gifts, and cake.
Weddings are about dedicating your life – or the next five to fifteen months – with the same person. And it should be obvious to all inhabiting this room and that Liz and Terence are committed to other, or should be.
Anyway, I think they do really love each other.
I write poems. Sometimes, I just steal what other people say and put them on a page. This is one of the things I stole, based on an anecdote between this happy loving couple."
I then read the old hit, only without the title, to give it a little more neutrality:
Honey, I'd love you no matter what.
I'd love you even if you lost both of your arms and legs in a horrible freak accident.
They say the course of love never runs smooth,
but my devotion for you's so strong,
If I had to feed you
And wash you
And roll you out for walks,
I'd love you just as much –
Honey, where do we keep the saw?
"Don't ask about the real incident," I said, "I think they're both embarrassed by it now. But the prosthetics look pretty convincing, don't they?
"Anyway, I think that fairly represents why we've all gathered here today:
To celebrate our friends, and their relationship, and… well, food.
So, without further ado:
Terence, do you take Liz to be your lawfully recognized housemate, as long as you share the lease?
Liz, do you take Terence to be the guy you bring to all family functions, as long as you find the situation mutually viable?
OK, Cool. I now pronounce you both ready to eat cake.
There is cake, right?
I told the people to throw rice at them, or something, and since no one had anything, I decided to continue.
"I have an extra little piece that really should have been read earlier," I said, "But since I do have the floor."
"Encore!" Somebody called, "ENCORE!"
"Right," I said, and finished with what should have been the introduction:
SEX WITH ETHEL.
Marry me, for the passport.
Marry me, for a bigger apartment.
Marry me, for all those presents.
Marry me, for the tax break.
Marry me, to see all your friends in hideous purple chiffon.
Marry me, and get your parents off my back.
Marry me, please; I love you.
And I don't want this one to be another bastard.
They laughed, they clapped. They enjoyed.
"It seemed to work," I said to Melle, afterwards.
All the couples present asked me to officiate at their next weddings.
"Look like I've got a new job," I said, "A cottage industry."
Some people asked me about parties and clubs, and when I could perform. No one offered to buy a book or come to future shows. Well, no one who wasn’t already on my list.
Still, I think I impressed the two married girls I'd so long been so in love with.
Another successful gig, successfully completed.
After the party, I could go back to sleep – though not until noon. That's just too late.