Sunday, May 15, 2005

Part 3: Almost done, I promise

The next time I saw him, he was fresh from Italy and full of fantastic stories.

I had casually invited him to my and my best friend's annual Birthday Bash in Kansas City, assuming he was like most of our mutual friends and would more than likely NOT to show up to a party that required he drive hours to get to.

I was gravely mistaken. He showed up, late into the night, and we danced and laughed and, as would become habit - stood in the parking lot talking for hours - until I was forced to drive away, only because I had a mere four hours before getting on a plane to LA.

We spent the next few weeks talking on the phone for hours at a time and, eventually, went somewhere just the two of us. It wasn't a date, more like friends getting together to do something, but I still pulled out all the stops when getting ready. We saw "They Might be Giants" play and had a downright fun time doing it. I saved my ticket to the show, slipping it into a box I where I kept things not to lose.

It's here, though, where our story goes astray. I mentioned we went out twice, didn't I? Well we did. But alas, there was a fateful weekend in between. One in which I went to NYC, got accepted into grad school, and began plans to move far far away from Kansas and all it contained.

And that included, in my mind, this new great guy I loved hanging out with. I had decided when I went, I would GO. None of this horsing around or pining for home.

Our second date was uncomfortable. We both initially thought we had been stood up, mis-communicating about where we would meet. It was the last time I saw him, or would talk to him for months. I stopped returning his phone calls, stopped answering the phone, really. In my mind I had already moved, and I was as good as two thousand miles away.

But I saw him one last time before I left for NYC. And at 4am in an empty parking lot in Overland Park, offered out another casual invitation that would, a mere year later, change both our lives.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Part 2

My job was to take the photos. The evidence of this misplaced task was later revealed - as the photos, starting off clear and well composed, slowly got more blurred and haphazard as the day wore on. Alas, champagne is *not* the ultimate photographer's companion.

But that day was sunny and bright, and happiness was shining from all our faces. Joe and Carrie were the first of "us" to get married, and it seemed in no small way they were guaranteeing all of us a chance at forever. That somehow, their promise of eternity was going to carry through to all our friendships. We were jubilant.

I had followed everyone around taking snapshots until I was sure the groom might smack me. I decided to go ahead and sit down, claim my good spot on the end of a pew, to get everyone One.More.Time. as they stepped down the aisle.

Sam, one of the groomsman, stopped me halfway down the aisle - insisting I be escorted like everyone else. More specifically that he escort me, as it was his "duty of the day." As we walked back to the beginning and started once more down the aisle, the videographer asked us to stand in for the couple.

"Could you guys come here for a second? Sam, stand here. Misty, walk down the aisle like you're the bride . . .yeah, that's it. Now could you stand together here for a moment while I set up the shot?"

I remember there being sarcastic vows and faces made. I remember sauntering innapropriately down the aisle, and Sam taking my hands in earnest joking fashion. I don't remember now exactly what we said. I remember we had fun with it and laughed. How we joked we were really married for months later.

I never did get my proper escort down the aisle. But that will come a mere six months from now, and Sam will be waiting at the end, just has he was all those four years ago.

Only I'm sure this time, I will remember what we say.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Part 1:

I knew him only as someone everyone else knew. He was around when I was gone, he was in Kansas when I was in Florida . . . Our paths never quite crossed. I heard tell, though. I'd come back and my friends would be hilariously doing what they did best, finding ways to set him up, friends he would love . . .I met him as the guy they loved and wanted their friends to date. I thought that was sweet. I had no interest in being that friend.

Our first "real" meeting was at a James Taylor concert. We all met and then reconvened at my house to save everyone long drives home. I remember pointing to my shag rug on the carpet and introducing him to his bed for the night. And then, not long after, retiring to my room - door shut - and throwing a pillow over my head while trying desperately to get some sleep. I had work in the morning.

The next I saw him we got married.

For the first time.