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Monday, January 17, 2005

the ones who walk away from orlando

i spent this past weekend in Florida. it was a long weekend with today off, but i got back yesterday. it wasn't an efficient trip.

i do enjoy flying, though i also picture plummeting to my death during each takeoff. this is a new development. i guess it comes with age. or boredom.

i was down there with the whole family for a southern baptist wedding. there were rumors that the reception would be dry and we already had preliminary plans to smuggle some booze. in the end, there was a make-shift cash bar. the beer was warm and the bottles themselves weren't allowed in the reception hall so you had to have it in a glass that resembled the type i'd use for milk. i drank red wine.

the day before the wedding, a distant cousin from Sweden picked my brother and i up at the airport in orlando. the weather was overcast and muggy. my deoderant was not functioning. the festivities were taking place in Daytona, so we had a drive ahead of us. a drive that took three hours instead of barely 1.5. the traffic made for some depressive scenery. the highway was more full than the landscape. the flatness exposed the commerce, the realty, the establishments. steeples pierced the languished air alongside our national flag and dealership signs. there was nowhere to hide in this place. well, maybe underground or something. in an attic we could lock away our guilts and despair. i was glad we were leaving Orlando. i turned up my mp3 player and went to sleep for the third time that day.

my mother and i dressed at our hotel the day of the wedding. my father and brother were wearing brand new suits to match the lady's attire. we went all out for this shin-dig. my mother kept insisting that it was a formal wedding, but i still didn't understand the necessity for her mink-lined Saks gown. my father has no job for fuck's sake.

we got the the church about an hour early. it was my mother's job to pass out the progrmas. we weren't in the ornate, evangelical complex for two minutes when the irony began to attack with a tacky lack of subtlety. as she floated toward the box to unpack the wedding brochures, a ceiling tile, saturated from the hurricane-like wind and rain, fell from about 50 feet. it landed no more than a foot from where she was standing, sending wet plaster all over her black satin. there were a few church workers around, including security (at a church!), and they laughed. i said something condescending to the janitor and he must've been guilted into standing watch below the gaping hole for the remainder of the ceremony.

i killed some time checking out the bathrooms, mirrors, leather furniture, golden accents, and pompous literature. most of the leaflets called upon the congregation to redirect the lost souls of the world. these lost souls were conveniently categorized by nationality, with helpful tips on how to approach/talk with each genre. i pocketed a few for some entertainment.

the reception was dry and full of prayer and blessings. the maid of honor only smiled at the non-lost of the party. i drank until my lips turned purple. my brother left the room when the garter toss began. i was hit on my an old man who is planning on calling me when he comes to New York on Friday. my mother danced with my father. i did the twist with my pregnant newlywed cousin. then we all went to Denny's. i ate more than anyone at the table.

the view from our hotel was great, but mostly unenjoyable. it was dreary and violent, and the wind blew in water through the glass doors, saturating the carpet of our suite.

i'm happy to be home, not sure if i should feel guilty or lucky to have left.


At 1/17/2005 09:23:00 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Wine! Knew you would make it out alive.


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