Sweet + Relief II: A Mouth Full of Beauty 10.6.02
Did I mention that I had no date?
Did I mention that I hated my speech?
Well, in the past few years, I have turned into some spectacular kind of wimp. That's the only explanation, really. I am nervous in front of people when I shouldn't even give a fuck.
I was nervous as we were announced, in pairs. Like a starting line-up in basketball. Pete's playing small forward. Even though he's not, you know, small. In fact, I told him he'd play small forward like Kenyon Martin does. But of course, not with that athletic fury we'd all like to bring once in our lives. We'd stick power forward Matt on the perimeter, and his dad could play center. I'm the defensive shooting guard and Corey's our steady point.
That was a minute of your reading life you'd like to have back, isn't it?
After we have been seated at Matt + Angie's wedding, I am suddenly called up to give my speech/ toast. Really, I thought I'd have a few more minutes to collect my thoughts. But no, not at all.
I am in front of eagerly anticipating people, whom I don't know. Many of them graduates from the University of Buffalo. Dressed in their finery. Waiting for me to say something classic. I announce that I have no idea what I am going to say. I take a deep breath and begin to read some of the notes I'd written-- about how Matt and Angie were waiting for me to say the embarrassing stuff, how I was going to poke fun--
And then I started to ramble. I can't tell you most of the words I said. But in the ramble, I found a path, I found a tale of how good people always surround themselves with other good people, and so I knew Angie had to be quality... unless he'd lowered his standards. I began to speak directly to the newlyweds. And told them that I found them inspirational, natural. I ran out of safe words, because I wanted to say "Angie's not a bitch and she's not boring or demanding-- she's chill, she's one of the guys and still is feminine."
So I came up wit a reasonable facsimile of that sentiment, thanked them, raised a rambling glass, and put my sweating and twitching ass back in my seat.
Did I mention I had no date?