DFC, Nash, probably a few random freaks we had picked up in one place or the other, maybe D'Artagnan, and me.
DFC's apartment, conveniently located in the converted insane asylum behind God's own liquor store, right off of East Colfax Avenue.
Deep in the heart of the madness.
We were discussing marriage. Not surprising. D'Artagnan's had recently ended. DFC had a painfully broken engagement in his not-so-distant past. Nash...the serial bachelor. I was busily self-medicating my own newly trampled heart. Cynicism about the prospect and very practice understandably abounded. Had we not been fucked up on something or other, it could have been a miserable conversation.
Thankfully, though, we were. Fucked up, that is. Also not surprising. Not in those days.
When close friends get fucked up together and talk about emotional topics, one of two things typically happens (depending on what kind of fucked up they are):
- They end up fighting, or
- They end up demonstrating borderline inappropriate levels of affection for one another, making ridiculous promises of undying love, etc. and so forth. Bonding, if you will. (And I really won't, so no fair asking you to. Humor me.)
In this case, the latter erupted. The discourse had been primarily focused on the societal (and godawful parental) expectation that heterosexual adults in our general age range be married, engaged, or at least shacked up. And of course, how much that expectation sucks. And how we were all FINE with our singleness, because we had each other, and couldn't ask for anything more. Yeah. Sure, it'd be nice to find "the right person," but...
"What we need," said DFC, completely out of nowhere, "is a backup plan."
The three of us turned and stared quietly, waiting for him to flesh this out for us. DFC has a way of stopping conversations with declarations like that one. It's one of his many gifts.
"The thing is, you've gotta be prepared. You can't be walking around, forty years old, never been married. That's just not gonna work for anybody. That's not how life's supposed to be. You don't want people looking at you thinking, 'See, that guy's a fuckin' LOSER.'
"But hey, it's not easy to find somebody. Who's gonna put up with my shit they way you guys do? What if nobody gets it? So you need a backup plan. We need backup plans."
And then, of course, he turned to me. Me, his best friend, and also the only person in the room with a second X-chromosome.
"So what I'm saying is, if we're not married by the time I'm forty and you're thirty-eight...we get married. Perfect, right? There's worse things than that. That'd be just fine. What do you say?"
"DFC, I love you. But I'm not having sex with you, dude. Even if we get married."
"That's cool. We can fuck whoever we want. We're friends. But the point is...we'll be married people. Tax breaks, parents off our backs. I think it's a good deal. I mean, you'll wanna fuck me eventually, but whatever. All in good time." He gave me the inimitable DFC grin. He looks like a goddamned boy scout.
"Yeah. Yeah, okay. I mean, I love you. You're my best friend. Why not? Let's get married! In ten years!"
And we pinky swore on it. Nash and D'Artagnan were witnesses. The deal was sealed. We went back to our fucked up-edness, that night and in general.
Things changed. DFC went away to grad school, lived in Asia for awhile, moved around. Nash moved to Tennessee, Oregon, then Dallas. I moved to New York. D'Artagnan shacked up with a much younger woman, dumped her, and married a different much younger woman shortly thereafter. Our lives changed. We changed. But we wrote emails, sent post cards, had the occasional visit. We kept up with one another. All bets were still on.
Brooklyn, New York. June 21, 2005.
Me, by myself.
My apartment, conveniently located in the converted shower curtain factory, miles from the nearest train, but a mere two blocks from the White Castle on Myrtle Avenue. (Gross.)
Still plenty of madness around.
Not quite perfect...but pretty damn good.
A white envelope was waiting on the kitchen table for me when I arrived home, after a night of gallivanting amongst the gays. An envelope from DFC...and HFS.
He met HFS in grad school. They visited me in NY shortly after I moved here three years ago. She's wonderful. Pretty, smart, funny. She loves him tremendously. They've endured long separations, money struggles, cultural differences, and DFC's carousing with Nash and I. He told me about a year ago that he was going to marry her. Seemed like an outstanding idea to me.
And in the envelope, of couse, was the wedding invitation. They're getting married next month, in Colorado, at DFC's parents' house.
Because I have a vagina, I teared up a bit while reading it. Then I remembered the time we got fucked up and ran around ass-naked in the yard of DFC's parents' house all afternoon. On a Saturday. When all the neighbors were home. Hopefully they won't recognize me with clothes on.
I'm excited for them. I'm incredibly happy that my best friend found that elusive "one." I can't wait to see the kids, hear the stories, and watch them enjoy their life together.
I am, however, headed back to the drawing board, now that my backup plan partner no longer needs backing up. Maybe there's hope for me. My best friend found true love...it's still a possibility that I will too.
Boy, am I ever gonna get wicked drunk at that wedding.