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Leaving The Nest: Why Wake Up?

2005-06-14 - 7:25 p.m.

Favorite Tire: The back one

Listening To: Caetano Veloso, Gorillaz, Pixies, Jack Johnson, Dylan

Quote:"Friend, you've been awfully quiet . . . are you praying?" - Aly, to Hayley

And we continue on in the second installment of our "Leaving The Nest" series. In which we find our hero back in "LA" for a wedding, with all sorts of mental mobius strips threatening to collapse around him . . .
Leaving The Nest: Why Wake Up?

Does anyone else think that the colors on the internet have reached a sharper definition lately? It's just me? Oh well. Anyway, you may have heard that Keith and Jen got married a few weeks back. 'Tis true. A little warning. You may feel that you are coming across wanton typos in the proceeding paragraphs. Untrue. Or at least mostly untrue. But you may surmise that I'm trying to elude those gregarious goblins employed by Google. You would have surmised correctly. Shall we? Let's . . .

"One more robot learns to be - Something more than a machine." - The Flaming Lips

Monique and I left early that Saturday morning for the wedding. Memorial Day Weekend, if you recall - much like the entire month of May - was supposed to pour buckets with an extra side of buckets. Miraculously . . . it did not. We didn't end up going to the G.I.W. to see the Peaslee fam as they were off hunting grouse or carving up blueberry buckle or whatever it is they do on weekends. So it was down scenic Rt. 140, which I think kills me a little bit each time I drive on it. Sort of like how Tracey Lundgren's face kills me a little bit each time I spit on it. We got ready at my mother's and there was lots of hi-jinx involving slips (both Freudian and garment-wise), nip bottles and garden weasels. Ok, there were no garden weasels. But if I don't mention the garden weasel at least once a year I face the possibility of losing the patent. After we finished putting our faces on we took off to see Nanny. An adventure that always goes smoothly.

"Beauty goes to her address. She shuts the door and climbs the steps. And when she sleeps, the revolution grows." - David Byrne

We got to Nanny's, where the Red Sox where in the process of beating the Orphan Rapers 114 - 1. Or something. I just know they kicked their asses. And Nanny was quite pleased. As was everyone in the world who is anti-Orphan Raping. So yeah, Ben and Fafu were probably down in the doldrums about the whole affair. But I wouldn't know yet, they don't come into the story for like a half hour. Gosh, stop busting my hump. Especially since I don't know what that means . . . but it sounds dirty. Nanny tried desperately to take a picture of Monique, Me, and Monique's "gorgeous gams" (to paraphrase Nanny) but it was all for naught as Nannys and digital cameras go together about as well as Country Music and Rap . . . or maybe that's a bad example. We shall see.

"And it ain't no use in turnin' on your light babe, I'm on the dark side of the road. But I wish there was something you'd do or say, to try to make me change my mind and stay." - Dylan

Monique and I arrived a bit early for the ceremony, being held at the Congregational Church (or the "Congo" for my LA peeps! Yo! Where's my LA peeps at?! - Again, I may be getting ahead of myself.) We took a trip down Pleasant St. so we could point at all the houses our friends used to live in but are now gone from. Jameson, Gigi, Annie, Peter, etc. And I did flip off Rusty Lange's house. I knew Jimbo would be very proud of me. On the way back to the church parking lot we had ourselves a good ol' fashioned Bolduc sighting. We thought this was just the height of too-muchery. We checked him off on our Sachem Scavenger Hunt card and thought that would be the end of our brain bending LA tomfoolery. In the immortal words of Brittany the Chipette, "Jeanette, you're so naive." Except, you know, instead of "Jeanette", make it "Monique and Zach". Knowing that Ben has been late to the last 17 weddings he's attended, we decided it was best not to wait for him and entered the church with no sign of Ben, Fafu, Jeff or Amy. Jay Goodwin ushered us to our seats, but not before first saying, "Holy crap! It's Monique!" We were seated next to M.att G.ilman. 'Twas only the start my friends.

"Sexy sexy do your thing. Learn to be shy and then you can sting." - Jack Johnson

Monique and I took in the church as we looked around. Since I don't feel like doing a cutesy intro for each of the people we saw, I'll just do a list: A.lvin R.atliffe, P.erkins, D.on P.ickowicz, M.ike B.urns, J.ake & J.ackie F.rench, M.ike M.arsh, B.eth D.avison & her husband, Q.uade J.ordan, and assorted other names and faces we hadn't heard and seen in many, many, MANY moons. Soon, Keith walked out, followed by his ushers (including his brother, DANTE(!) - yes, *that* Dante, do you know another?, B.raden J.ordan (who, when we saw him, we both did a silent blessing that Peter wasn't with us, as a class war would have erupted), and finally, his best man, who was Wentworth! Which we weren't expecting at all. I should have mentioned that at some point during all this, Ben and Fafu got sat to our right, on our non-G.ilman side. And Jeff and Amy made it in right under the wire and sat behind us. Then, blah, blah, blah weddingcakes. On our way out of the church Mrs. Goodwin practically had a canary of a day squeezing the collective cheeks of Ben, Jeff, and myself and calling us "Benny" and "Zachy" and whatnot. Which would be cutesy if, you know, that's what she used to call us. But she never had as far as I know. Which just made it, I don't know . . . different. Once a crestfallen Monique got over the fact that we weren't going to get to throw rice, we told Ben and Fafu we'd pick them up at Dick and Sharon's momentarily and I'd drive us over to the new Laconia Expo Center for the reception. I mean, how can that plan get screwed up? Right? Well, it can. Six words are how it can: Dick and Sharon and Happy Hour.

"In my motorcycle mirror I think about the life I've led. And how my soul's been aking all the holes where I have bled." - The Pixies

So after stopping at the gas station that TC thought would open whilst he was in OZ, I pulled up to the side driveway on Shore Drive and left the car running so I could motion to Ben and Fafu that we were ready to get a move on. I mean, the reception was said to be "immediately" following the ceremony. And yes, we all know that the wedding party needs to take like 600 hours of pictures, but still. As I was trudging up the gravel, attempting not to dirty my pimped out suit (which, in reality, really wasn't all that pimped out in the least), Ben sees me coming, and tells me, "Shut off your car! Come in! My parents want us to have some drinks first!" Um, O k. Actually, I'm misremembering that. He said, " . . .want us to have a drink", not " . . . some drinks . . .", but I know what happens, so my brain is rijiggering the puzzle pieces. This is what happens when I wait to long to write these things. So here we are. Monique, Me, Ben, Fafu, Dick, and Sharon. Drinking martinis and scotch. Except me. I'm drinking water. And Monique's already had half a nip from the car, "to take the edge off". And the crackers and cheese got broken out. And we're having a fine ol' time. And Dick is telling Ben about this cache of free tuxedos he came into. [I'm not making this stuff up.] And I seem to be the *only* one that realized we have a wedding reception to go to. Now, if I had to quantum leap into this exact moment as Ben, I would have chosen now to tell Monique and I that Sarah had run away, as he had Dick and Sharon there as buffers so I wouldn't go too bat shit insane when I found out. But clearly, I didn't quantum leap into Ben at that point and so he and Fafu decided to keep the Sarah business in the secret sack of secrets for the time being. Finally, with the three of them a bit more to the wind than I am, we leave for Lakeportarico. And that's when the fun really begins.

"Young gal, you done me bad, so I went and did you wrong." - Ryan Adams

We get there and look on the Table Chart and see that we're at Table 16. Jeff and Amy are already sitting there and wonder where the hell we've been. I tell him we've been having Martini Hour with Dick and Sharon, and through the ghostly blanching his face does, I feel he understands. He claims it's the 6 of us, plus some random guy that hasn't shown up yet. We all agree it will suck for this random, nameless guest to have to sit with us as he doesn't know any of us. Oh well, that's what alcohol's for! Did I mention Patrick's is catering? Because they were. But no red pepper medleys as far as the eye could see. But if receptions make time for one thing, it's mingling. Which is what happens. An awkward conversation about "where life takes us" with Jake at the bar and then exchanging awkward dirty looks with some of the people who I've never seen before at Table 13. Soon, the wedding party shows up and the business of toasts comes to order. I couldn't even try to offer a transcript of Wentworth's toast in this space even if I wanted to. But it involved copious use of the following words/phrases: "LA", "Sachems", "my boys", and "loyal". Shockingly, no one quotes Fitzy with, "It's the not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." That would have made me tear up. For realsies. Or for notsies. The jury is still out.

"If you can hear a piano fall, you can hear me comin' down the hall." - The White Stripes

And then we started drinking. And maybe 20 minutes in, right before the food is about to be served, I hear Fafu say to Ben, in not quite a regular voice, but far from a whisper, "You shouldn't tell him right now, because he's only gonna get pissed. Especially since it's his fault." Right. 'Cause that doesn't make me supremo paranoid at all. So I ask him to come up to the bar with me and he does. I press him to know what they were talking about. He won't. Says he, "doesn't want to upset" me. So I make him tell me. Sarah's run away from the house [Side Note For The Oblivious: We were all watching her while Titie and Peter were in Bridgton] The Ben/Fafu story, which ends up going through several permutations, boils down to, "They were minding their own business and even though Zach put her in the cage, he obviously didn't do it well enough, and Sarah escaped the cage, jumped out an open window - that Zach should have double checked it was closed before he left for the wedding, and Sarah runs away." So not only did Peter and Titie's dog run away. But it's my fault? Despite the fact that it happend 4 hours after I left her in Ben's care. Hmmmm. And why were we not told this on one of the previous occassions that day that they could have told us. Not that there's a really great time to tell your friend that your other friends lives will be shattered when they find out their dog is missing/dead. Ben, did you tell the neighbors? No, they weren't home. Did you leave them a note? No. Did you call Aaron? No. So I call Aaron and Aly, not able to concentrate on the festivities at hand until I at least feel I've done everything in my power to get the dog back while being an hour away at the same time. Anyway - Aaron and Aly aren't successful in finding her since we find out later she was picked up by the cops around 4 o'clock that afternoon after she was found wandering Rt. 4 and had to spend the night at the pound. If I wasn't so happy she was alive I would have killed her. The point is, she was safe, and that's all that mattered. But don't get me wrong, getting thrown under the bus was still nice. I mean, the touching sentiment was there.

Sarah and Kenichi in happier, pre-runaway times

"What about the time you were holding over? Fell on your face. You must be having fun. Walk lightly. Think of a time. You best believe this thing is real." - Talking Heads

The reception was a lot of fun. Honestly. Though the "drama of the dog" permeated much of the rest of my evening and I had to try to mentally remove it from my face. Marsh and Wentworth ended up hanging out at our table quite a bit. During one trip to the bar, I asked Jeff whatever happened to that guy that was supposed to be at our table. He pointed to the "guy's" name on the chart. "Look," he said. "Al Freedy." To which I had to explain to him that:
a.) that's not how you pronounce it
b.) that was a girl's name
c.) she was sitting at our table and of course
d.) it means "Freedom" in German
I don't dance until I have a rather comfortable amount of alcohol in me. So if you see me dancing, ever, under any circumstances, know that I've had either a lot of beer, or several cocktails. Or both. Because if ZQF is "vouging" on the parquet, watch out! And when he starts breaking out Coty-esque dance moves, then you just KNOW you're in for a world of hurt. And I didn't get a chance to dance too much, as there were lots of Country and Rap (and sometimes both with Cowboy Troy!) kind of businesses going on. But man, if there was EVER a time I thought the Electric Slide was a lock, it was then. Sadly, I was wrong. Keith and Jen made a great couple, and showed that they had a great sense of humor/adventure once we all realized the DJ (NOT J + J Productions mind you) was starting a Dirty Dancing medley and that the two of them were about to recreate the entire last dance sequence between Johnny Castle and Baby Houseman. Pictures can't do it any justice, but it was perfect, hilarious, romantic, and damn, was I jealous! I didn't even get to carry any watermelons!

I'd make a joke here with "Nobody puts [fill-in-the-blank] in the corner" as the punchline. EXCEPT KEITH already trumped me, yet again, by making this joke AT the reception. On the microphone. Looking over at Table 16, which was placed in the corner, and saying, "Nobody puts my Zach in the corner." Bastard.

"She looks like the real thing. She tastes like the real thing." - Radiohead

Let me not forget to mention that Keith also took every opportunity he could to make a joke involving my mother, suntanning, and how he became a man. Hardy. HAR. HAR! There was lots of going in and out with drinks that weren't allowed to go in and out and I apologize to Monique in this public forum if my right foot started to resemble a second left foot when we were on the dance floor. I don't consider myself a bad dancer, but after that many rum & cokes, even I can't jitterbug with the best of 'em. The night finally wore down, and I had my mom and Don come pick us up. Amy had left early, so we dropped Jeff off at Wildwood, Ben and Fafy at Dick and Sharon's (it was late, so we begged off a sequel to Martini Hour) and we made our way back to Sanbornton. How many other weekends could I say I had talks with J.ackie F.rench about parenting? Or that I cut a rug with B.eth D.avison? Or that I stood on the steep bank of Opechee, at sunset, in a suit, making frantic phone calls to a Vegan about a lost dog? Here I was in Lakeport, the scene of so many past crimes and misdemenors and schemes and naked screamers. But it had been almost a decade since some of the more decadent of adventures. And yet here we all were, like so many pages hadn't been skipped. But it was much like a dream, where you're in your childhood home. And all the details are right. Kind of. Until you realize Sammy Sosa shouldn't be in your kitchen, and that the wallpaper in the mudroom wasn't made out of fish scales. But you don't care if it's a little blurry around the edges, since you're happy, so why wake up? Why wake up?

"When somethin' goes right, oh its likely to lose me. It's out to confuse me, 'cause it's such an unusual sight." - Paul Simon

So add Keith to the list of those snatched up by the holy ball and chain. Who's next? God almighty, who is next? And after those few last days of May craziness, wasn't it all time for us to take a rest? Well, it may have been. But we had a giant ol' party to throw the very next day. And giant ol' party did we ever through. And if you're wondering how the hell I'm going to write about it with Big Brother out there, just you watch me. And now I leave you with a shot of some of LA's finest:

It's been real,

Mr. Grieves

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