The rehearsal for the wedding of two friends (Beth & Bill) was interesting. We all gathered under a relatively hot evening sun at a public park just around the corner from the happy couple's home to practice the walks, the ceremony and all the details in between.
Weddings are a funny thing.
Like an impressive clash of Titans - weddings seem to bring out the beautiful and the grotesque in people. It's all in the danger of the mix. The mix being love and alcohol. Those who have it - show it in those slow dances on the dance floor. And not those cheesy slow dances, like to an 80's hair band ballad - but those classic slow dances - something by Bennett, Fitzgerald or Sinatra. Those who don't - turn to the alcohol and either end up doubled over in a reception hall restroom or someone's back yard. Or worse. I'm proud to say that being one of those who don't have it at the moment - I did not end up doubled over - or drunk for that matter.
But it was a long night. And there was plenty of drama - the details of which I won't go into here - which left Rachel, Brian and I exhausted by the time we pulled into Rachel's drive way at some point after 4 a.m.
I woke up at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday.
Exhausted as I was, I was in no condition to handle the news that my little brother might be leaving for the Air Force sooner than expected. Like, in two weeks, sooner. I began to cry. And I've been trying to force myself not to think about it all day.
I am no stranger to goodbyes. But Dustin's impending departure is different. He is not just my brother, he is my friend. That is aspect number one. Then there are others. I never thought I'd be here when he left for college a couple of years ago. And I never thought I'd be here when he transferred and came back. And when he told me he was signing up for the service - I hoped I wouldn't be here when he finally took off for boot camp. But here is where I am.
When Rachel called that afternoon, she spoke gently as I cried on the phone. She calmed me down and gave me instructions to get in the shower, get to my grandmother's house - where people were already waiting for me - and reminded me that we had plans for dinner...which always makes for a good time.
And quite frankly - it did.
...And by the way: Congratulations Beth & Bill.