Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weddings are fun.

It didn’t dawn on me that I had never seen the ocean until I was crossing a bridge that seemed more like a roller coaster at about eight in the morning after driving straight through the night while I looked at the ocean.  We were approaching St. Simons Island (no apostrophe, apparently.  I guess there was more than one St. Simon and they decided to simply honor all of them at one time with a singular island) for a wedding.

Weddings are a little strange to me, because I love attending them but I don’t really plan on participating in one.  That’s like never eating your favorite food (kinda).  Everyone is always in a great mood.  Everyone always lets loose.  Everyone is having a great time except for kids.  It sucks to be a kid at a wedding.  You’re around a bunch of people you don’t know who are doing things you don’t understand and doing other things you are not allowed to do.  But I’m not a kid anymore so I don’t really give a shit about all of that.

The wedding was set to take place at a villa on the water.  Three floors, two buildings, six rooms (I believe), a pool, an elevator, a microwave in a drawer, and a king’s table.  It was basically the epitome of decadence (not using the Motley Crue usage of the word).  I immediately felt spoiled and was afraid that I would start crying when I finally had to leave.

We tossed our bags in a room, disrobed, and hit the pool.  It wasn’t long until beers were dispersed and the bottom of the pit began making its way towards our heads.  Time passed, people were met, jokes were made, lies were told.  Standard stuff.

As I ate dinner on the ledge next to the pool, I stared at the ocean and thought about my previous experience with an anxiety attack.  It’s easy to feel swallowed up by the enormity of something like that.  I will never see anything bigger than the ocean (discounting the sun, the stars, and everything else in the celestial realm).  Sitting next to that, eating mac and cheese and drinking a can of Miller High Life, makes you feel a little insignificant.  If I filled that can of beer with dynamite and threw it into a geyser of gasoline, the ocean wouldn’t be affected in the slightest way.  If I found a new mathematical formula that explained time-travel and opened a hole into the future, the ocean wouldn’t care.  It would be exactly the same.  The tide would still go in and out (assuming the moon doesn’t disappear in the future) and it would still be really fucking huge.  Most likely even more huge with the way the polar ice caps are going.

As I sat on the ledge staring at the ocean and trying not to freak out, I heard a little noise and realized a six-year-old boy was sitting next to me.  I had already discussed hairstyles and remote-controlled cars with him and his brother, so it wasn’t too big of a shock.  I tried to tell him about how we know more about outer space than we do about the bottom of the ocean, which is true.  He didn’t believe me.  I tried to explain to him the way the tide works.  He didn’t believe me.  We followed this path for a while until I realized the truth was simply not good enough for this kid, so I started telling him about the sea monsters that live in the ocean.  This, of course, led to me explaining to him how a 350-foot-long squid destroyed the Titanic.  I’m not exactly sure how we came upon this, as I said I had been drinking all day on no sleep, but once you tell a kid something like that, there’s no taking it back.

He was quite excited, comparing the size of the squid to the sandbar in front of us.

“Oh no, the squid was much bigger than the sand bar,” I said.  “Yup, that’s right.  The whole thing.”

We talked about the squid some more until his brother came up and informed us that there were cameras surrounding the villa, which was true, and that we had to find the control room.  So, of course, I told him he was right and that we had to find it as soon as possible.  Fast forward about fifteen minutes, sprinkle in a few more lies, and we find a room with a TV that we have to convince the child not to destroy after identifying it as the control room.  Congratulations were passed around, and I went about my night trying to avoid the children for their own sake.

The night continued in the only way it could until I was simply a mumbling mess that had to be told to go to bed by my roommate because he likes to pretend to be my babysitter, which is nice because sometimes I need a babysitter.

I woke up in the morning feeling like top-notch shit and hopped out of bed.  The window outside of the bedroom had a third-story view of the sun rising above the ocean, which is a fairly decent thing to see when you get up in the morning.  After a little while of complaining and drinking as much water as possible, we decided to brave the ocean. 

I’ve never particularly enjoyed the feeling of not knowing what’s below me in a lake.  But since it’s only a lake my fears are nothing more than the reason I can’t sleep in my bedroom without the closet door shut.  Namely, monsters.  But in a lake and in my bedroom, the monsters are purely psychological.  And if we’ve learned anything from the first Nightmare on Elm Street during the absolute worst ending to any movie of all time anything ever, if you choose not to believe in these psychological boogeymen, they can’t do a goddamn thing to you.  Seriously, what an awful ending to a movie.  He slashes the absolute shit out of people for two hours, and then some whiny bitch says, “I don’t believe in you,” and this demonic killing-machine goes, “For real?  Shit!” and dies?  Jesus, it’s like the writers had two minutes to write the last twenty minutes of the movie and said, “Well, if we just add one more creepy he-didn’t-actually-die thing at the very end, then our tracks will be covered and no one will notice how bad the ending was because they’ll be trying to be the first one of their friends to predict a sequel.”  I mean, what the hell were they thinking?  At least knock his brains out of his head and give me a little satisfaction and retribution for all the intestines I just had to watch him pull out of screaming people in their pajamas.

Anyways, the point was that these monsters I’m afraid of in a deep lake are actually real in the ocean.  We simply don’t know what the fuck is out there.  We know a great amount, and what we do know about is already horrifying, but we don’t know everything.  Just because one of these deep sea tentacle/teeth/bloodlust/meteorite fish things hasn’t ripped off someone’s leg so far doesn’t mean it will never happen.  Plus, there’s crabs and shit out there.  I saw a couple.  And getting pinched sucks.

Leg-ripping sea monsters or not, we swam to the sandbar and walked around, making sure to take enough time to let the sun burn the shit out of us.  We watched people try to surf on twenty-inch waves.  I tried to catch a bird with my bare hands (and only succeeded in realizing how out of shape I am).  We found a point where shifting your weight between your feet will slowly dig yourself into the sandbar.  After making it to my knees, I decided to stop just in case the suction I was feeling around my ankles and shins was stronger than I wanted it to be.  It would only be a few hours until high tide and certain death, and although I’m sure we could have dug two feet into the sand by then, the possibility was still a little too close. 

I freed myself, we braved the monster-filled ocean, and prepared for the wedding.  The villa was a bit of a madhouse of people frantically power-walking and trying to tie up every remaining loose end while trying to appear like everything was going smoothly.  But, of course, everything came together as people arrived and the wedding went off without a hitch.

The only thing that disappointed me about the wedding was that I couldn’t hear the speech given by the bride’s brother, who was performing the ceremony.  I was in charge of releasing the ring-bearer at the appropriate time (which was, of course, a snaggle-toothed, two-year-old dog) and therefore couldn’t hear most of what was said.  Even though I couldn’t hear the speech, I could tell it was going well by the amount of crying going on in the gallery, as well as from the speaker.  I expected one part stand-up show mixed with two parts sentimental well-wishing, which I think might have been fairly accurate.  Laughs were heard, acting as cymbal crashes separating the steady stream of sniffles.  I came close to joining the moist-faced observers, but then the dog probably whined or pulled to hard on the leash and I had to focus on my duty.

After the ceremony, heart-felt handshakes were passed around to the participants as well as the families and everyone took a deep breath, changing gears towards the celebration.

Personally, the coolest part of the wedding was a favor asked of me a couple months before the ceremony.  While drinking at my apartment one blazing, summer afternoon, the idea was tossed out by the bride-to-be that maybe I should throw some music together for the wedding.  A few days later I e-mailed them something and they liked it.  Boom.  Pretty simple.  They asked for a couple more songs, I sent them some stuff I had recorded over the last couple years, and that’s that.  Little did I know, they used a song of mine for the bride walking down the aisle, and another for when they walked out together.  Now, when I say this was the coolest part of the wedding, I don’t mean because my music made it super kickass.  I mean it was personally the coolest part because I got to feel like I contributed something while also feeling a little validation.  I got to watch a woman I have known since I was around five-years-old marry a great guy I met a couple of years ago to a song I made.  That’s insane.  Throughout the night, they would thank me for putting the song together, but the jokes on them.  I would have done that anyway.  They did me a huge favor by including it in this wonderful event.

Then a few hours later, immediately after I finished making a joke about feeding monkey meat to a monkey and following it up with a joke about bestiality to the DJ’s girlfriend, the DJ approached me and asked me if he could use the song in future weddings.  I agreed, we shook hands, and I walked away with a big smile on my face, and not entirely because of the hilarious jokes I had just finished telling.

The celebration flew by, probably because of the open bar.  Champagne was obliterated in the kitchen after we grew tired of drinking liquor and beer.  The bride’s uncle touched eyeballs with my roommate’s girlfriend.  I gained possession of someone’s camera and snapped around 500 pictures in twenty minutes.  And before I knew it, everyone had gone to bed, leaving me to snag leftovers from the refrigerator and eat plate after plate of cold food while watching a TV that I couldn’t figure out how to operate.

I woke up the next day and could only describe the way I felt as fifteen different pieces of shit crammed into an ass, and then that ass experiences diarrhea.  I was pleased with the simile, but not the way my body felt.  This sentiment was basically the theme of the day, besides, “Go Pack Go.”  I survived the hangover day, and got to enjoy another wonderful oceanic experience.  A lightening storm had surrounded the island and eventually moved out to sea, leaving us safe of electrocution and with a natural fireworks display.  We sat in chairs and watching the lightening crawl across the sky.  It was probably the calmest portion of the weekend, surely due to the fact that I wasn’t hammering alcohol like a goddamn idiot.  A perfect way to end a weekend of craziness.

The final morning was simply packing and hitting the road.  After a short drive, or at least it seemed short since I didn’t drive at all, I found myself back at home and hugging my dog like she had just won me the lottery.  I started the day watching the sunrise over the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, and within hours I was back to the land of form rejections and shitty tippers.  That was okay with me, though.  You can’t live in a dream land on a beach forever.  If you lived in a place like that you would become boring and stale because you would have no reason to want to do anything better.  All you would do is enjoy what you have without reaching for anything more, and that’s not acceptable.  Not yet, at least. 

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