“Yeahaaaaah… it’s your father. I’ll be in town tomorrow- wait, what’s the name of that sushi joint we went to last time I was in town?- I need you to google map the joint, k?- I wanna get down there again”, not even a single exchange yet, and our phone conversation has turned into a machine gun of thought provided by Ricky. Me, the target of the question barrage, haven’t a intelligible word to give back to the man. I’m on the ropes; subdued from 7.5 hours on the road to Iowa and back in the same day, sleep deprived with the new job that shoulder splashed the consciousness out of my schedule (a lady went on early maternity leave, and somehow in the chain of suburban school circumstance, my name was brought up as the first man for the job to take care of Sid and the pre-K battalion once again), and discombobulated from a constant cold wind whipping thru the broken passenger window of my car whilst we made the quick trip to Ames, IA and back.
Wait a hot fuckin’ minute… “Ricky’s coming to town?” I murmur to myself. The reality unveils the date, the time, the circumstance, the alignment of the stars where everyone lands in the same city within the same moment to witness one thing… my sister’s wedding. Good gawd it’s happening.
Now, I can’t say this snuck up on me. I’ve been ready. Hella ready. Annie’s friends could drink a rugby team under the table… matter of fact, they just might do it this Saturday. Rockmen, the man my sister is to wed, plays for the St. Paul Pigs Rugby Team. I couldn’t keep up a lick at the bachelor party, going shot for shot, beer for beer with the broad shoulders of Midwest rugby elite. Rockmen’s friends put it down like Hurricane parties- NYE- end of the world type situations. In short, this wedding is going to be a drinking one, and somewhere in the back of my mind has fully accepted that… and taken the date into mind. However, after being asked to make a speech, cut my hair, and not embarrass the bride, I really don’t think I’ve absorbed the gravity of the situation here. My. Sister. Is. Getting. Married!
This doesn’t happen often. Matter fact, in my family, this has only happened once amongst the set of cousins. There are 10 of us on my mother’s side of the fence, and only one cousin has gotten married within that set. My dumbass decided to tour to Pittsburgh during it, and not show up. Dishonorable, at a loss of a good time in California, and most of all at a loss to see my cousin Nick get married. I want to preface it with “In a way”, but I’ll just say it: I look up to Nick. The kid’s turned over more than just rocks in his life and has a beautiful family to show for it. Kid’s an extraordinary paraprofessional, father, husband, etc. Can’t say I’m ready for the same responsibilities, but I’ll call’em for advice when the time comes. Either way, missed his wedding, wouldn’t/couldn’t miss my sister’s for the world… and won’t miss any of the other cousins as well when the time comes. These moments are rare, swift, and should be taken by the horns whenever the opportunity presents itself.
I feel pressured because this event is the type you really can’t let a fiber of a second pass without indulging the time of it. This will never happen again, unless for some freak reason Rockmen and Annie decide to split (which btw, I personally can’t see happening. I’m not jinxing anything, but the relationship they’ve thus far has sustained, survived, and most of all… been stable. I don’t know the specifics, but my sister’s 1 for 1 when it comes to inviting significant others to the family dinner table. I’m 0 for 4;) Again, this Saturday will never happen again; an amalgam of Ricky, family from Detroit, family from California, and the rest of Jane’s side of the family from the deep suburbs of the Twin Cities’ Metro area we only see once in a red moon.
Still haven’t thought of what I’m going to say for the speech, let alone when I have time to get a haircut… No time to think this one out. I better make a move before my nerves get the best of me.