Red-Eyed and Blue

"Hey, when did you two marry? Last year?"
"Two years ago. Our second anniversary is next week."
"Oh. Congratulations."

I am two years older than Cameron and Amanda. I am 24.

My best friends in college married each other on June 23 in Rancho Palos Verdes. They asked me to be a groomsman — probably the only time I'll ever be asked to be part of a wedding party — and I agreed.

"How old is your sister, Doug?"
"And we have to hold hands as we exit the chapel?"
"No. Matt and Chris aren't holding hands…"

The maid of honor was male; a gay, Jewish gent who's obsessed with Disneyland but forced to work at California Adventure.

The best man was Doug's fraternal twin brother Chris. The two will swap roles when Chris weds next February. On a boat. In Nevada.

The father of the bride drove an 18-foot lifted SUV with "GOD" in white, vinyl, 300-point serif lettering on its rear window.

Elizabeth didn't invite her estranged mother, who still lives with her father. Her only sibling, a mama's boy, understandably refuses to associate with her anymore and didn't attend either.

"Is she?"
"Oh my…"
"Who does that at a dinner table?"
"At least she covered the baby's head with a napkin."

The reception was pleasantly devoid of typical reception trappings. No slideshow. No tapping glasses to elicit kissing. No bouquet or garter belt tossing.

Best of all, there was no dancing.

On the ride home, the euphoria of the preceding days crashed spectacularly.

I thought about Doug and Elizabeth and

I thought about the two other engaged couples in their wedding party and

I thought about Cameron and Amanda and the 14-year-old best man at the last wedding I attended and

I thought about Ryan and Dorayne and Josh and Erin and Jon and Erin and Tony and Rachel and

I thought about how socially retarded I am and

I thought about how chummy the rest of the wedding party was and how I was the only member who left Los Angeles and how they all grew up locally and never fled and

I thought about what a disaster my time in Chicago was and how lonely I am in the Bay Area and whether the Pacific Northwest is really the solution and

I thought about moving back to Los Angeles and

I thought about being able to hang out with friends without boarding a plane and

I thought about how much I love playing with my cousin Betsy's kids and how much my parents love them and

I thought about the table where Betsy placed me at her wedding reception and

I thought about how special occasions consistently re-affirm how miserable and pathetic I am and

I thought about all the weddings, graduations, birthdays and gatherings that await me in the future and

I thought about disappearing overseas and

I fell asleep that night thinking and

I awoke the next morning and realized what will make me happy and

I put on my shoes and

I ran.