All my friends are junkies.

Music – Toots and the Maytals – Funky Kingston

The Universe does not concern itself with the trivialities of fairness and compassion.  The planets turn, unmoved by even the greatest plights of man.  The stars watch our every tragedy and triumph with the same silent, expressionless stare.  The fall of an empire is of less import to the cosmos than the death of an ant.  Entropy and chaos and gravity and heat death, these are the things that interest the heavens.  All else, truth and love and evil and betrayal, is unworthy of notice.

I remember this in times of trial.  It helps me retain a proper perspective.  I find solace in the ultimate unimportance of my every action and accomplishment.  I find peace in the knowledge that the universe gives not even the most infinitesimal flying fuck about any of us.

This philosophy grants me the serenity to move past the grave, GRAVE fucking injustice of my missing Bay to Breakers to attend Ellie’s cousin’s stupid wedding.  It helps cool my rage at the fact that I’ve missed out on the most supremely amazing and epic festival of the year to eat bad cake and watch two people I’ve never met start together on that long and rutted path to married American oblivion.

I received several texts during the wedding, things like “WHERE YOU AT BRO?!” and “WOOOOOOOO”.  People were sending me photos of smiling, jubilant, beautifully happy people dancing in the streets, people wearing stupid hats and loving life.

I turned my phone off.

Those around me probably whispered about what a romantic and sensitive person I am, since there was a hint of tears in my eyes as the newlyweds walked down the aisle.

“What a beautiful ceremony!”, people said.
What am I doing here.
“They look so happy together.”
Fuck my life.
“What a lovely dress!”
Stab me in the face.
“Congratulations!”
With a soldering iron.

We went back inside and hovered around the bar.  We were unable to drink at our table since we were sharing it with Ellie’s ultra-religious cousins, so we drank like servants, standing in the hallways and vestibules of the country club.  It was 99 in the shade, the kind of hot day that elevates a tie and long sleeves from an inconvenience to a war crime.  The kind of day meant for revelry and dangerous, irresponsible partying, not for formality and esoteric ritual.

Ellie sensed my discomfort, and was kind.  She brought me an iced tea and shielded me from her relatives.  She didn’t drag me to the wedding, after all. My own exaggerated sense of boyfriendly duty and responsibility did that.  I had told her I would go months ago; I said yes without a second thought or, more importantly, a glance at the motherfucking calendar.  It was my bad, and she cannot be held accountable for my inability to keep track of my god damn social engagements.

Her family is very nice as well; infinitely better than I’ve dealt with in the past.  One of my ex’s grandfather’s threatened to drown me if I ever broke up with his granddaughter.  Another ex’s father, excited to have a male in his household full of daughters, once dragged me downstairs after a Christmas party to show me his Uzis.  This is not a metaphor.  He had Uzis.  He also used to lecture me endlessly on the perils of hydrogenated fats, especially in peanut butter.  This is true.  You can’t make this shit up.

Compared to that, a short wedding on a hot day with Ellie’s friendly, normal family is paradise.

On any other Sunday I would have attended happily, and without objection.

On any other Sunday.

What’s done is done, though.

One cannot dwell on past failures.  To do so would only stoke the fires of regret, of bitterness.

Best not to think that I’m the soberest, most clear-headed person in San Francisco this ugly, cold morning.  Best not to think of the shame I’m burdened with for missing the Hetero Pride Parade.

Best not to think of myself as a fucking pariah.

Besides, Houseboats approaches.  And with it, Redemption.

Even now there are fifteen 30 packs in my garage.  There are eleven bottles of cheap tequila.  Six bottles of rum.  Ten boxes of wine.  A jug of some blue shit from Ecuador that has no name except in Ancient Aztec, and would get us 5-9 with no parole if the Feds knew Mo had smuggled it into the U.S.

Preparations are underway.  Calls are coming in from across the state.

“Can you fit a Zodiac in the back of your truck?”
“Do you still have my Stevie Wonder’s Greatest Hits tape?”
“You’re an engineer… Explain to me what we need to do to have a bonfire on a lake? Like ON the water?”
“How long can a stripper stay in a cake before she asphyxiates? What if she has a scuba tank?”

We’re packing our life vests and our bail money.  Soon we’ll descend on Slaughterhouse like starved wolves on a rotting carcass.  We’ll rage like we did in our younger days, safe from the prying, judgemental eyes of God and Decent American Folk.

Alcorn’s already on his way to Folsom to pick up Justin from prison.  Mo’s coming by to drop off some groceries and her hunting rifle.  Blake, completely out of PTO and sick days, is faking his own death to leave work early on Friday.  The Old Crew is reuniting.  The Pact still stands.

We leave at 6 AM tomorrow.
God help us all.

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