Love is Real

8 February 2014
10:42 PM
Manila

M.–

Came home an hour ago from Y.’s wedding and reception dinner. I’m glad I was there. I’m still buzzing from all the jazz tonight, so let me recount it the best I can:

Met up with S. and his sister for lunch. It’s funny how the world works sometimes–I met S. at a workshop sometime around 2005 and we became friends. At the time we were going to different schools. Y. is studying at the same university as he is, and I asked him if he knew her. Turns out that they’re friends, too, and members of the same lit org. And that’s how we came to be sitting at a table this afternoon, eating dimsum. The wedding is at past three, and we had a bit of time to kill, so we went ahead and had jasmine tea and these delicious egg custard rolls.

S.’s sister likes to draw and paint using watercolour, so we had a bit of conversation about that. In fact, the rest of the afternoon and evening was an exercise in trying to get to know people (and be decent at it), which I am, admittedly, not very good at. I mean–I have no trouble doing that online, where there’s no physical component to it. Face-to-face though I am too awkward, I think. I keep forgetting that when people ask me what I do, I should ask them the same, and perhaps go from there.

Anyway–the wedding at the church gave me a bit of deja vu. I haven’t been to mass since Christmas, which is the only time I ever really go, these past few years. Some words in some prayers and songs have changed, I’ve observed, but the dogma, the rituals stay the same.

Y. is beautiful! I cried when I saw her walk down the aisle. It’s an incredible feeling. I grew up with this girl. I’ve known her since elementary; have been friends since high school. To be a witness to this union is a terrific thing. B., her soon-to-be husband cried as well, and didn’t stop crying for quite some time, which made me cry all over again!

People threw rose petals as they came out of the church. I stood aside, not really part of the crowd, not knowing anyone (S. went off to get the car), but Y. turned to me, and we hugged each other tightly. And this is love, this is friendship, is it not? To be there for her, to show up, to be part of this moment, which is important to her, which matters. I want to be able to do this to all the people in my life who matter–I want to stay, and be present, and be here.

At the reception, there was a lot of merry-making, drinks, and food. Everybody was in their 1920s clothes–I marveled at the necklaces and headpieces, and the dresses and the decor, but what I enjoyed most was the music. It’s jazz, and I was in heaven. (Of course, the songs they played were standards recorded by artists during the 50s, but eh, minor detail.)

I got to hug Y. a couple of times more throughout the evening. I can’t remember if we ever get to talk. We just hugged and said everything that needs to be said that way. I think perhaps I may have whispered that she looks beautiful, and that I cried, and that I loved her. I hugged B., too, and was just overwhelmed by emotions, knowing that this man will take care of my friend, and how important it was to know and believe that.

The dancing started around nine, I think, but before that, there were words from the bride and groom, the best man and maid of honour, that sort of thing. There were tears around the room–I didn’t expect that I would cry this much!–but there was laughter, too. A lot of laughter. I thought, that’s how a wedding should be, how a new life should start–with laughter, with joy, with a heart filled with happiness.

When people started going to the dance floor, I took my cue and said my goodbyes. S. accompanied me downstairs. His friend, J., joined us. Earlier, he was seated to our left at the table. We were introduced but didn’t get a chance to chat. I was surrounded by Y.’s college friends, and was content to keep quiet and listen and laugh. J. went with us to the lobby for a quick cig break, and I found him very easy to talk to. He’s lovely, and has a great singing voice, and a sense of humour I could relate to. I think I made a new friend, actually, which was the nice surprise of my evening.

And now I’m home, thinking of the letter I wrote to Y., the draft still in my purse. I copied a poem for her, Bob Hicok’s Other Lives And Dimensions And Finally A Love Poem, something we both loved (I think I posted it here before). I am leaving you with a song that they played which is stuck in my head. I am also thinking of your wedding, and how, possibly, I might have cried a lot, too.

Goodnight,
T.

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