notes from a journal entry, the day after a perfect wedding
It’s Monday, 5:10pm. The notes at the bottom of my journaling app show the address of where we now call home, tells me it’s 73 and sunny. Pacific Time.
I wanted so badly to get up on Saturday night and cry into that microphone, in front of both of you and everybody else, but I knew I would have stumbled through it, not gotten it all out, and then spent the hours, days + weeks following trying to explain what I meant, rehashing every word.
It was a flood, really. The weather and the hilarity of the house and the terrible sad zoo, the seemingly infinite details; the feelings. It would have been impossible to encapsulate in moments and minutes, with a few jokes and a killer ending… so how do I start, from this starting? It’s a story of love. Not just your love, your relationship, your wedding day — it’s the years and moments and everything until now fused into a point of light, and the space past that light that shines out as far as we are capable of seeing, and longer past that. That’s another reason why I couldn’t give a speech, because I couldn’t talk about the two of you without talking about me and the journey I’ve been on, before you and then with you since we met, respectively.
Not many people have stuck it out with me the way you have. I’m constantly learning, thinking I have something figured out, fucking it up, realizing I don’t know as much as I thought I did, starting over — leaving blooms and disasters in my wake, depending on the day. You’ve come with me full circle several times, in bliss and in darkness, full-hearted and broken down in a ticket booth, holding on for dear life when no one else understood. We’ve been fans, roommates, confidants; brought out the best and the worst in each other. Killorn, you’ve shown forgiveness for the learning cycle I went through that pushed us apart, when I pushed you away — and without hesitation, you picked up the hammer and boards with me and built the bridge that brought us back together. You have been patient and vulnerable and kind, through life and death and shattered dreams and incredible successes. I know I’m not the easiest person to be friends with — to put it mildly — I give a lot, and while I don’t keep score, I demand a lot in return once I’ve passed a certain level of emotional intimacy. I used to leave that door open around the clock, and now it’s guarded and sacred and only creaks open on certain days of the year, when the planets are all lined up and the sky turns that perfect shade of pink, dependable and rare, like solstice at Stonehenge, or that one day of the year in Manhattan when everything lines up and the sunset burns down that one specific street.
We were all so scared for you when everything was coming undone that year in the Ballard house. In my cold and controlling, holier-than-thou state, my love and fear for you turned to anger and too-thick skin. All you needed were open arms, and all you got was this terrible disdain. I can’t ever replay those days and change them, I can’t ever take any of it back, and I can’t ever undo the damage. I know we’ve talked about this at length since, but I need you to know that I carry that hurt and regret with me. Every time my heart overflows with love for you, the pain comes with it, and I think it’s just the burden I have to bear so that I don’t ever treat anyone that way ever again. We spoke in whispers, cross-legged on Lori’s bed, wanting to help you but not knowing how, afraid you were painting yourself into another corner of escapism when we heard you on the phone all hours of the night with someone we knew you’d only met through a joke about a sweatshirt on Twitter.
Oh, how wrong we were.
I can’t tell you with sufficient intensity how glad I am that we, the us that lives between you and I, survived. I don’t deserve the love and trust and vulnerability you show me, but somehow, you keep the line open and you keep letting me in. This kind of friendship is secondary only to the changes in me that have happened since colliding with Barry, as far as the degree to which someone’s unyielding love and grace for me, as-is, has completely changed and shaped who I am, for the better. You know all of this, already. But it seemed like the right time to tell you again.
So now it’s now, and we’re about forty-eight hours past the fishing line and the chicken and the gnats and the happy tears, and years past the nuclear fallout… The thing I kept saying to Barry on the way out, the thing I’ve always talked about when I describe you and Mark, is that he is your fucking whisperer. He sees all of you, complete; your joys and your sorrows, the strong facade and the most vulnerable underbelly, simultaneous. And I kept thinking about how wonderful it was, for you to have found your Person, and knowing we were heading out to the middle of nowhere to celebrate and cherish you both, to support you and witness you and take those vows and be by your side(s). And if that was all that had happened, it would have been enough for the flood, the feelings and tears, the tears that started the moment I saw you coming through the woods and didn’t stop until well after dinner.
But what I quickly realized, as speech after speech came to pass in that room, as the love just poured out of everyone in every conversation, was that you are surrounded by people who see you, the way we see you, the way Mark sees you. And as it turns out, you were that person for Mark, too. Between the friends and the family that have known you forever, to the coworkers who totally fucking get everything about you — I was in total and absolute awe. To be so seen, to be so loved… it’s something I can only dream of, something I’ve only caught in glimpses and moments, something I thought I saw and felt and could touch but almost always wound up having a false bottom to it, a trap door that I fell through right when I was sure it was Different This Time.
To be in the presence of that, to be by your side for such an incredible day — I am not exaggerating when I say that it was an absolute privilege, and it’s causing Barry and I to take a serious look at who we are, what we’re surrounding ourselves with, and whether or not it’s moving towards what we truly want. Once again, the person you are, the love that you exude, has changed me, and continues to mold me for the better.
I don’t know how to close this, except to say that I can only hope to one day be half the person you are, and to be surrounded with a fraction of the love that you give and that you generate around you. That period when everything was so, so dark? It turns out that the light at the end of your tunnel was you.
I love you both. xo