Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The pictures are at home and I'm at work, so for now I'll just tell you about our trip.
Everything has been happening late this year, and so the head hadn't really picked up much. It stuck in the low 90's, which was only hot enough to be irritating, not spectacular. It rained a lot, big swollen raindrops, sometimes when it was cloudy and sometimes not. The end result of all of this was that while it was muggy and a bit steamy, it wasn't so much humid.
(As an aside here, this is the first time I've ever brought anyone back to Florida. Everyone else I've known there has at least been there before, and so I wanted this trip to be impressive. It wasn't.)
We always had somewhere to be. This is how it's been since I left the county in 2000, and I'm not sure why I thought this time would be different. I was constantly guiltily dragging Jeff from place to place and group of people to group of people--something I'll be apologizing for months, since I hadn't expected it. I forget in my quiet life here that up until a year ago I was constantly surrounded by people.
This all means that we didn't get to go looking for alligators--upsetting, since I had really wanted to--and though I tried to sound convincing when I explained that when you drop the lizards in water they become alligators, I think I failed. New species were limited to lizards, coquina, and dead horseshoe crabs.
I tried to make amends with some quiet time at the beach--white sand, sunset--but I think it fell short.
My mother's husband makes me uncomfortable because I'm never sure when he's being funny.
On the up side (for me), I got to see all of my friends again, who I miss so much it hurts. I have yet to find anyone else with whom I can be unabashedly myself. There was much hugging and kissing, ass grabbing and innuendo, knee sex, dramatic posturing, and dancing. There was also much tearing up, because big events like this (unless I can convince them to move to Seattle) will be pretty much toe only times we'll all be together. (There still is--I'm ashamed of how often I get choked up thinking about it.) I think that part of the reason I've lost so much of my momentum is the loss of them--there's no handy support system who believes unconditionally that I can do whatever I want. I'm still figuring out how to do that myself; everyone deserves friends like mine.
During the rehearsal, going over the ring ceremony, Sarah was crying and laughing so hard that all she could get out was "no." But she recovered nicely, and although the unity candle that Dave made (we make candles, among our many other talents) refused to light, there were few mishaps. Sarah, always more than pretty, occasionally blooms into radiance, was so astoundingly beautiful that she should have been put under glass. Jesse was so happy I was afraid he would explode or faint, or both. I looked at all the people there--all the people who had paused their lives and, some of them, come all that way--to show their love and longing for free buffet food for these people, and I was proud to have been chosen for the wedding party. I'm not sure what I did to deserve that, which was not even really choosing but a foregone conclusion from the beginning, but I hope to keep on doing it.
Many funny and touching things happened, and I'm saving them to run my fingers over like a pouch full of diamonds whenever I am paralyzed by the world. So whether or not I was a failure as a hostess and tourguide, at least I got to recharge myself again. By the time we got home I was so tired that I was playing the counting game, where I count everything I can see that has more than one. Jeff has been welcomed to the family--my friends each told me that they like him--for however long he wants to stay. I'm glad that we went, but I'm even happier to be home.

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