at dawn, last sunday, i wrote danny a letter that was two-decades in the making. it was the dawn of his wedding day. when i go through life changes it is surreal but when jen or danny go through their life changes, my sentimentality bleeds through, time shifts for me, and i can’t help but pour it all over them, my oldest childhood friends.
for example, when i left america for israel, it was so surreal that i could not write not one letter (except to my sister, diana) but at my going away party, i received such amazing letters, poetry and love. i felt it most from danny and it was his music and words that sustained me when i was abroad. his brother, andrew, summed it up in his best man speech at his wedding. danny “is the kind of person you can call at 3am and talk to him about everything.” and so the weekend revolved around the permanent figures in my life… my family and my best friend.
i stepped off the bus in milford, pennsylvania and annoyed the bus driver as i proceeded to take my suitcase out from under the bus, having not heard him mutter,”i’ll get it.” i dragged that beast over freshly painted parking spaces and over the curb to the hotel and to my surprise not only were danny & sarah there in the lobby, but his parents were there, his brother and his wife. sarah and i attacked each other with hugs. “OOOOH! MY FAVORITE COUPLE!!” i yelped as i hugged them. everyone looked so tired but it was a great feeling to see them all together the night before what promised to be a beautiful event.
danny handed me the bag with the video camera, explaining to me various technical things. “i know! i know! i read the manual online.” i assured him i’d make the best wedding video known in the faerie kingdom. satisfied, he handed me over to the front desk to get settled in and registered. sarah, in the meantime, showed me these amazing wings that she made for me. on each wing over the shoulder was written “VIDEO” “FAIRY”. it was red and black and all kinds of autumn colors. a creation of envy and an extension of sarah so creative and beautiful i instantly loved it. we went to the bathroom jumping and yipyipyipping about her getting married tomorrow! spinning the fae energy, inquiring of mental awareness. the night before one’s wedding is always surreal. the wings fit perfectly and so we went hopping back to the lobby for goodnight hugs and morning plans.
wide eyes and “TOMORROW!” and i checked in to a room with a king-sized bed and crisp, tucked-in sheets so stiff that i had to lift up the mattress to prepare my sleeping quarters just so, life as an insect burrowed in warm leaves. the first thing i felt was spoiled. the second thing i felt was hyper and so i jumped on the bed with my boots on and ran down the hall with a bucket, filling it to overflowing with ice that i had absolutely no use for. the bathroom had an eerie red nightlight that got me to thinking how many people got murdered in this exact room. it must’ve happened at least once. or a suicide… “i’m going to end it all… in MILFORD, PA!” no less.
these thoughts filled me with a curious panic and before it escalated i flipped on all the lights and then jumped on the couch, turning over the cushions in search of stories or at least laundry change and that’s when i got hot. the switch for the air conditioning was hidden behind thick curtains. i peeled one side of the curtain back slowly and that’s when i saw the full moon and it’s reflection on the lake below. i quickly switched off some lights and gathered the curtains around my face to feel nothing between me and the reflection. and that’s when danny’s letter began… “how surreal to mark time by events such as these….” but i didn’t run to write it. i let it sit til morning. there was more solitary mayhem surely in store for me. i tried to find free porn to giggle to on the tv but to no avail…so i took a bath.
days of travel faded away and the tub filled up with pink hair dye staining my cuticles. i used up all the free samples left tubside and took my time shaving my legs and laying out my outfit for the next day… a red and black glitter dress, black boots, a black boa stole, and of course, the wings. i fiddled with the camera, put the wings on and off…and on again, adjusting the straps, testing their jump factor and resilience. and then it was time for sleep…or so i thought….
i watched the moon until my eyes burned and still could not sleep. i turned on the tv again and watched the life story of jane mansfield. her story kept me awake for 3 more hours as i had lucid dreams about owning a heart-shaped pool like she had. i finally decided to take drastic measures and deprive myself of sight and sound. ear plugs went in, lights were turned off, eye mask put on and then i burrowed into the sheets so starchy that upon waking my skin felt properly exfoliated and new. when i woke i was so proud that i slept…that is, until i read the alarm clock… 5am… and i punched a pillow. 3 hours of sleep in 2 days… how is this possible? and what was worse, i was wide-awake…
mischief turned to excitement like the first day of school, the new status of being in a new grade, the worry if the day would go right (would i shoot a good video for them?) and will i look ok (was my black boa and pink hair too much?). the worry was 2nd to the excitement and upon checking if the moon was still there (yes it was, just across the sky to where i couldn’t see without effort) i began to analyze this excited feeling… it wasn’t MY wedding day, it was danny’s…but that’s how soul connections are, i suppose. his happiness is my happiness… and that first day of school feeling kept coming, somthing about the autumn scenery at dawn when we rode the school bus together, and i was anchored to a pen and hotel stationary pouring out how proud i am of him, how he seizes his happiness, and waht a great person he is and how wonderful his chosen bride, their mutual creativity, their serene quirky lifestyle. the hotel stationary was too impersonal to i later tore pages from this journal and rewrote it during cocktail hour when i should have been mingling. i had a tightness in my throat not just for the wedding but for how much older i feel. i put the draft away and waited for 7am, when the breakfast hour began.
the elevator going down stopped one floor below me and i wasn’t surprised when the door’s opened and danny’s father got on. we had breakfast together. he told me how he met his wife at a dance in manhattan, not far from where my parents married actually. he says he is happily married. he told me how he and his wife think sarah and i have similarities and i felt a bit squeamish. “we’re both just hyper and into faeries is all” i offerred, dismissing the notion and giving my take on how perfect she is for danny. “he’s my brother.” i said flatly, “he was always meant to be my brother” and he delved into that magnified time when, in 8th grade, we called ourselves ‘boyfriend & girlfriend’ when we never so much as kissed. “yeah, the closest i got to your son the boyfriend was riding bitch on his dirtbike” and we laughed. “that was the summer he bought you that locket and wood carving of your names.” this man had a good memory. it was the family’s ongoing joke that until we were both married we had a 1% chance of getting together and upon the procession of the wedding party that day, i had a great brattish surge as i greeted his dad, video camera in hand, and the other in front of the camera in a perfect zero. “NOW…it’s zero percent!” i said while filming.
he toasted a few slices of bread for barbara and drank two cups of coffee as we talked more about my friendship with danny. “i knew you were close when i heard you were calling each other to and from israel.” he said. we talked about tsafi and about israelis and politics and about marraige and about neighbors and our families… and then it was time to dress and head to t he inn. i repacked my bags and was early to leave. sure enough, in the elevator, michael got on again, this time on an errand to the car. i put my stuff in the car. barbara soom came down and we were on the way. they’d parked in a handicapped zone and i worried over her health. she walks with a limp now… michael has lost his hair. yes, our parents are getting older now.
the car pulled up to the cliff park inn and there, at the edge of the golf course were a VERY handsome couple being photographed. video pixie kicked in front and center and i went to work. sarah wore a renaissance dress with a tiara and danny looked perfect in his tux with an orange carnation. i filmed the story of hte progression of the day. i filmed every precious creation sarah made, her pixie party favors handmade with acorns for hats and each one individual and spritely. the waiters hit on me. the place was haunted. i kept losing track of where i lay my wine glass. i couldn’t look danny in the eye. i sat in his chair in the sun and transcribed my letter, sealing it and writing ‘for danny on his wedding day’.
bridesmaids arrived all dressed in wine-colored gowns, danny’s roommates past and present arrived. if it wasn’t art in my frame, it went by unnoticed… at least until the ceremony. i remained speechless until after the ceremony. there were pink tulle-framed bubbles in a basket, a tri-fold panel of photos (one of the photos was of me and danny at our 8th grade dance), wings and fairylights surrounded the dance floor, white bridal wings were attached on sarah’s chair, a cake topper much like the one she made for me and tsafi’s wedding cake… there was a welcome house on the porch and a guest book with a white-plumed blue pen, husks of colored corn on the cob hung on doors and pumpkins, of COURSE pumpkins, and flowers and fabric leaves strewn on tabletops, everything handmade by the bride and perfect.
soon people took to their seats. some people opened their bubbles and began to blow them. i fretted over where to set up for the best shot for the ceremony without being in the photographer’s way, ultimately figuring she could always photoshop me out if need be. the ceremony began and i was stage right capturing sarah’s smiling profile and danny was turned towards me. the walking down the aisle was precious, something special about walking down steps from a porch and into the open…
the ceremony was performed by the mayor. it was short and non-religious. when danny answered his question if he will be a good husband, etc, with an ‘i will’, his voice was full of assertive intention and devotion and my eyes filled up. exchange of rings and a kiss and danny and sarah were wed. soft guitar played and smiles abounded. the wedding party clustered inside the inn and when i got there sarah was crying of happiness and release. danny looked stunned, yet proud. he held up his ring to me in silence and i hugged him.
the party began and red wine was my friend. i sat next to danny’s boss in the sunny side of the tent. we talked of napster and about jobs. i’ve seen her a bunch of times over the years, me showing up to danny’s office like a dirty traveller dragging bags and yet i always forget her name. it was in that office that i showed up straight off a plane, one day after tsafi proposed to me, and while filming, held up my engagement ring capturing his reaction. i think it was ‘fuck you’ or ‘shut up’ or something witty like that. i’ve always been totally oblivious to whoever was around me at that office besides danny but looking back, i’ve seen her a whole mess of times. happy warm funky solid classy energy from her and i was really happy to be sitting next to her.
cure and violent femmes played and and photos were snapped and i had to leave early. danny’s cousin was driving me from pa to nyc. i passed out in the car over bucket seats after much comical convorsation and awoke in time to be sifted through the subway system. rats and people puking in trash bins, hot stale air being blasted out at me as trains arrived. i made my way from 72nd street to the village and found susan’s apartment, my old roommate/friend. she is such an absolute mess and it saddens me that i can’t help her. we went to a lounge and caught up over a bottle of white wine. i hadn’t seen her in years. she was recently engaged to a jew and ready to convert but it didn’t work out. her mother is dying of cancer…and she’s really into coke supposedly. very sad about this.
i had planned on sleeping for a few hours before my 6am flight back to los angeles but her drug episode kept me awake and worried. she uses people… i couldn’t believe that she invited some guy over from way uptown and upon his arrival asked him to leave so she could go out with someone else. and all the while i’m tucked under blankets begging silently for quiet. at 3am i gave up and shared a cab with her friend, this model from Vogue on his way to new zealand for a photo shoot. i made my way to jfk airport and flew back to l.a. in sleep-deprived insanity, spent the entire day in bed with my love and dragged myself to work the next day. busy busy weekend~~ but well worth the travel!