Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Wedding Guest
AS you grow older and move about the landscape, memories and people fade like old movies.. You change also. Just look at the metamorphosis by comparing a childhood photo of yourself to your reflection in the mirror. Shocking, isn't it? Not too long ago I was getting married for the second time in my life. I was still somewhat young, I guess. The second time around is easier, there is less stress, less anxiety, and perhaps more of a positive excitement. I felt good inside, nothing was wrong. I had thought life would now be a beautiful thing. And so there I was standing in front of the holy man next to my bride to be. Behind me was not a packed church, but barely enough people to tell me I was making a bad mistake, again. I hadn't known that one of my childhood friend's mother had also arrived for my prison sentence. I would find this out much later. And it would have a lasting impact on my life. So there I stood all dressed up like a fat penguin listening to the holy man explain the importance of holy matrimony. And then 'it' started. As I tried to hear and ponder the words flowing from the man's lips, I began to get intense photographic images of my childhood friend who had died. And I mean back to back crystal clear memories of wrestling matches, and football games, and track meets, and music, and pool tables, and potted green plants and much more. I stood there almost in a trance reliving experiences I had shared with my deceased friend. At one point the holy man had to verbally nudged me to speak. I literally had 'lost it' for what seemed like forever. But finally I witnessed myself willfully entering the prison system with my guard. We became man and wife. But it wouldn't be till months later during a conversation with another friend that an 'event' at my wedding would be revealed to me. Over a cup of coffee and a giant chunk of blueberry coffeecake, I was informed that my dead friend's mother had sobbed profusely throughout the ceremony. That she had simply released years of emotion in a single deluge of sorrow. And then I sensed her pain, her loss, her suffering. And I too remembered what a good friend he was, and how he had left us too early.