Whether the decidedly witty banter I managed to spout at 2:48 AM or the steadfast fire of her drunk horniness was to blame I doubt I’ll ever fucking know. What I remember more than the desperate stumbling fuck it must have been is the strangely calmed conversation afterwards.
“The times I realize I miss you seem the most wrong...or not wrong, but inappropriate times to call you.”
“I’m sure if I did call you I wouldn’t have a thing to fucking say. I mean, I don’t now, either.”
“What..” I can’t see this question in my mind. “Er, fuck...why do this?”
“I made a decision, I had to prove to myself that I could fucking do that.”
“This is me second guessing myself, like I always do, I’m sorry but that’s it. Whatever you feel for me, or whatever you think you feel for me, it isn't love.”
In the minutes leading up til noon we both wake again like hotel checkout alarm clocks are ringing loudly. We get out of bed seperately and I leave after a shower and a quickly scribbled note that curls up in the humidity of the bathroom.
I get into LA that night, with the rehersal dinner two days away. The night before the rehersal dinner I can’t fall asleep and instead sleep most of the day through. I wake as a cellphone rings on a similarly resonant bedside table in his guest room in North Hollywood.
“Shit man, the rehersal is in an hour...were you sleeping?”
“I’m picking up some food, can you get some bottles of decent wine and meet me at the church as soon as you get dressed.”
“Aright, gimme a half an hour.”
I get changed quickly, jumping into the same pants i was wearing four days ago. I make my way into the bathroom to wash my face, vaguely recalling the demise of my glasses the night I fucked Colleen as I notice their crumpled state on the bathroom counter. Going downstairs I grab four decent bottles and put them in a Christmas gift bag he had in the closet. Seconds before I close and lock the front door I realize champagne would probably be appreciated and run back inside remembering the Veuve in the refrigerator.
Colleen runs late to the rehersal and arrives looking harried and anxious. I’m melting into the background as I compare hangovers with a kid cousin of hers I met once four years ago.
Both Colleen and her fiancee Oliver leave as soon as the rehersal ends. A few people drift around for ten or fifteen minutes afterwards but it’s pretty much just me and Roland left to clean up, putting away tables and stacking chairs. The Veuve Cliquot sits unopened amongst the other bottles gone missing, knocked over, or drained.
“You know that shit was fucked up, waking me up and telling me the dinner was in an hour.”
“I didn’t expect you to get moving unless the time was fucking short. You know that’s what you do.”
“Shit I would have gotten moving if you said an hour and a half. Fuck, I didn’t even eat anything.”
“All you have in your refrigerator is months old chinese takeout boxes, condiments and bottles of Stella” I grab a few tortilla chips and dig into the seven layer dip. With my mouth half full of chips and dip I point out what Roland must have already noticed.
“Nobody even touched the food, just downed wine and split.”
“Fuck, well Colleen and Oliver disappeared right away, why the fuck would everybody else hang out for a rehersal dinner?”
We finish putting away the mess from the party a couple minutes before ten. “Hey you wanna wait here for a bit, I’m gonna go upstairs and have a cigarette, I'll be back in a minute.” I sit down facing the piano in the corner and say that’s fine, I’ll chill here.
I’m barely managing a decent rendition of the piano melody in the middle of “Perfect Day” when he gets back.
“What do you wanna do tonight?”
I turn to see him collecting and hanging wine glasses on their racks in the corner of the banquet room, and know for some odd reason that it has to be now, sitting at the piano, plucking random keys.
“I fucked Colleen last weekend in Vegas.”
A wine glass explodes as it hits the bare wall five feet to my right.
“What the fuck man! For fucks sake, WHY?”
I turn around and stand up as his voice rises.
“Fuck man, it wasn’t my idea, she called me drunk at three in the morning!”
His face screws up quickly with his eyes on the ground then abruptly looks at me.
He walks towards me grabbing the bottle of Veuve as I push the piano bench out of the way and make for the door, tripping as the leg of the bench catches my pant leg. I fall hard onto my elbows and forearms, instant pain shooting through my arms and a strange mist of champagne and glass shards blanketing me.
The next day, the day of the wedding, I have my arm in a sling and a nasty looking black eye, Roland pulls up to the tux shop where I’ve picked up both our suits and writes me a check for his half of the seven hundred dollars we are charged by the church for destroying their piano.
“I can’t believe they tried to charge a grand for that fucking piano, it was a piece of shit" he says as I get into the car.
I buckle my seatbelt as he pulls off down the street. We get on the Hollywood freeway and traffic is fairly light as he shifts into fifth gear. He looks over at me for a brief moment and says, “If you can believe it, it wasn’t even the fact that you fucked her that made me do that...” A black BMW doing a steady sixty five passes by my window as he cruises by at eighty, two matronly looking women glare at me. “My parents decided she oughta know she was adopted before she got married.” I turn back from gazing out the passenger window. “Her party-” “Wasn’t planned, she bolted the night my parents told her, called friends and told them she was on the way to Vegas and for them to meet her there.”
I could have told him I didn’t know she had just found out when I fucked her, he could have forgiven me, but everything that needed saying was said. We get off the freeway on Gower and park five minutes later at the church.
Standing up for the procession as the mass begins, I ruffle my pockets looking for my sunglasses to avoid the inevitable questions as to where I got the black eye and smile at her mother going by, looking somehow uptight even with tears in her eyes. When the priest reaches the part about forever holding my peace, I'm going to hope I'm the only one with a knowing smile on my face.