We don't mean to talk to each other for as long as we do. It was supposed to be fifteen minutes. It says 47 minutes on my phone. 47. We try and find a way to say goodbye. Two writers on the phone who don't know how to talk to each other.
There's a punchline there somewhere.
I am attempting to clean my apartment, but I just get overwhelmed. This is the impossible part of trying to explain depression to other people. You know what has to be done, you can even envision doing it, you just can't. Other people think they understand depression, think it's a lack of discipline. It's like someone with a headache thinking that they understand what it is to have a fullblown migraine induced by a brain tumor.
My friends at the local call and request my presence. I figure I should go considering they aren't going to see me for almost a week and if I vanish for more then two days they think I've been abducted by intergalatic guinea pigs. Besides I'm going back to Vegas.
A drink before hand at the local has become pre-travel tradition. Before Paris. Before Italy. And before going back to the city where my fiance's family was based, where his mother said I was the daughter she never had, where I had one of the most pivotal moments of my life-well I think a drink in the face of that is completely respectable.
Courtney, who looks like an anorexic Alice in Wonderland, is taking notes from Mu, who is bartending. As I amble to the bar I ask, "What's all this then?" "Mu's getting married," says Courtney who is taking down the names of bridemaids, the color of the dresses, and potential ideas for centerpieces.
Now I understand.
Not the conversation I wanted to have before I went to Vegas. Should have asked why I was so needed before I left the house.
In the background I can hear Madonna singing, "Experience has made me rich and now they're after me." I think of the t-shirt I asked Rabid to make me for my birthday "the perfect girl you'll never love."
Still I sit at the bar drinking vodka. I wasn't going to drink vodka, but now it is no longer a choice. The blood alcohol ratio was not yet right for this kind of conversation. Courtney is going through the list of necessary elements. Seeing who can supply what. We discuss the centerpieces for the table.
"I don't want flowers," Mu says, "It's been done. I was thinking candles."
"Are you having an open bar?" I ask.
"Well, there's a good idea. Open flames and copious amounts of alcohol."
Courtney suggests, "At Ikea, they have these little laterns. They're drunk proof."
I, as the only remotely sober person, serve as the voice of reason."Honey, ain't no such thing. I gaurantee you the Amazon is going to wake up with one eyebrow burned off. I'm going to get the 'What the fuck happened to my eyebrow?' phone call the next day."
They laugh, but still decide on the drunk proof laterns. Perhaps for no other reason to see if the Amazon actually does singe off her eyebrows.
Courtney continues with her list, "OK well you have to have a bridal brunch and a bachelorettes party. We need strippers."
Without thinking I say, "Got it."
No one questions my expertise. I think perhaps this is the career path I should pursue: Bunni Speigelman-Stripper Wrangler. Courtney puts me done on her list.
Courtney is getting progressively drunker on cheap chardonnay. Mu is talking to both of us. "You guys, you are my family. This is supposed to be a day for all of us to remember."
I look at us, Mu's family-Courtney the anorexic urban hipster version of Martha Stewart, Brett the heroin thin I'm so in the closet gay vet, Captain Ron, Brian the I'm with the Cronenberg Effect optometrist, and me.
It is perhaps even more terrifying than the family assembly I am escaping by going to Las Vegas.
Courtney has become drunk enough to go home, and so I inherit the list. I've been writing notes of bar napkins. The story of my life is written on bar napkins.
So now I'm in a bar trying to help plan an August wedding. Asking who do we know who does calligraphy. Who can cater. Who can do the cake.
Mu comes up with the idea of a photo montage ranging all over the walls. Starting with when they were children and leading up to this moment. Everything in their lives leading up to this moment. Everything in their lives, her dead fiance, his current alcoholism, all leading up to this one moment.
I focus on the second drink. Don't think about what I am writing. Don't think about what our wedding song was supposed to be. Don't think about the wedding dress I had picked out-white lace with pink roses. Don't think about the small garden wedding I wanted. Don't think about it. There is the drink right in front of you. Drink that. For chrissakes you come from a family that if your knee caps were ripped off in a freak farming accident you duct taped them back on and by god you did it. That was the whole idea behind the trip. Kiss Kiss had asked me in August why I was going through with this-why torture myself.
For no other reason than because I said I would. To prove that I can.
I find myself making offers, pimping my friends-offering Jen as a caterer-to prove that I'm not as bitter as I make myself out to be-to prove that I can be the friend I want to be. No one seems to notice, except Damon-the sweet southerner-who walks me home because I suspect he is worried that I might not make it. He can't tell the difference between drunkeness and sadness.
I'm not sure if I can either at this point.