What a wonderful moment I’m in the middle of right now. No one is home besides me, or beside me for that matter. There are no online Magic the Gathering tournaments emanating from Dave’s bedroom, no record on the living-room turntable blasting Iron Maiden through the outdoor speakers and into our dead-end, unoccupied, For-Rent street, no sound of running water or Xbox bloops or Blackberries with their strangled text message sirens.
It’s just me, on the couch, in my aunt’s forty-year-old denim jacket, with bean juice all over my face and the rest of my nachos dripping onto the “10 Ways to make a Catering Statement!” article of a bridal magazine.
I don’t know why they come to my house, these magazines. I started getting them a couple months ago. Brides, Modern Wedding, Amy’s Invitations and More, wedding favor catalogs, they all come to the house addressed to me and every once in a while you can see the excitement flicker across my face through my feigned disdain for the subject matter.
My mom says it’s because I ordered something for my brother’s as-yet-unborn child off their Babies R Us registry. She said it’s because my information was sold and they think that since I am buying a car seat for my sister-in-law, it must mean I’m simultaneously planning a wedding. I don’t believe her, really.
I think mom’s having them sent here.
You know that scene in Amelie at the end when Amelie and her carnival-fancying mystery porn shop boyfriend ride an old-fashioned tiny moped stop-motion style through the streets of Paris, or wherever? That, to me, is love.
When I see a dude with ripped jeans and dreadlocks give a fat noogie to his bike-walking girlfriend at a crosswalk, that’s love.
When someone’s driving you somewhere and they slam on their brakes and automatically shoot their right arm out block you from hitting the passenger-side dash, that’s. . .you know. . .
According to these wedding mags, your fiancé’s willingness to help you pick out bouquet colors is directly proportional to the amount of love he’s got for you. I don’t know about this.
I just went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of Melissa, one of my childhood friends. I say “childhood” as though 16 is a child’s age because it is. Anyway, at the wedding, under the tent set up in her mother’s backyard, among the moveable feast of guests from all rungs on the social ladder, I hear Melissa’s first words to her new husband, the first I hear, anyway, and these words are, “Grandma ran out of water.” And without a word he scurried off in the middle of his own party to make someone else happy, as per her instructions.
That? That’s most probably, definitely love. Not because she’s got him whipped; she doesn’t. Who cares? She was nervous, and that’s how her emotions manifested themselves, and he understood that. He just wants her to be happy and if Grandma is parched then Melissa is not happy.
Anyway, whatever. I’m sure I’m reading into it. I can’t describe things I don’t understand.
And now that the bean juice has dried on my face, and all the magazine pages are stuck together with sour cream in a very incriminating-looking way, I’ll end this pointless shit and go to the bar for work, where I’ll have the misfortune of seeing unrequited love and misguided attempts at communication and affection spiral down into nothingness all around me, getting more and more disheartening as the night goes on and the beer flows strong.