Wednesday, April 27, 2011

REQUIEM AFTER A WEDDING

Odd Title.

How Jon can you have a requiem after a wedding? Wedding's are life affirming. Weddings are about beginnings and the future, not the past. Weddings are about completion, making a half, whole. Certainly you're not mourning your own wedding, are you, you dork?

Calm down dear reader in my head, my wedding was wonderful. The people in attendance were of the highest caliber. The wedding party was made of the best friends anyone could ask for. And my wife is as lovely a woman as there is on this planet.

All events great or small conjure memories from the past; people gone too soon you wish could have witnessed it and the surprises that come from, in no small part, the people you believed at your core would be in your life for this moment and sadly are not.

I lost a friend recently. And when I say lost, I don't mean that as in he departed this world. No, we departed each other's lives. It's often hard to admit that while these kinds of transitions happen all the time in the world every day that one particular loss or another can have such an effect on a person.

For those that remained at my wedding, they heard me point out that we as humans rarely get to see the affect of our actions: our kindnesses, our impetuousness, our abruptness...we almost never see the outcome of our words or actions. In the case of my wedding, we were seeing just that, as Amy's friend had emailed my profile to her on an online site and that's what led to us finding each other. The point was this was a rarity, and we rarely understand how we affect other people daily. A kind word there, a terse word there, they all have an impact that compound into each person's mood over the course of days, weeks and months.

When you lose a friend you expected to be a part of your ceremony, to be there with you for such a defining moment in your life, the loss is even greater. There are people whom you come in contact with that are blinded by their own genius. Let me tell you, this guy is funny. I've met some funny people in my life, but he was a genius at it. Quickest wit I've ever heard... he was always one of the first to the punch, and more often than not it was cleverer than I ever was without forethought.

As a creative type who has yet to be "discovered," I think I felt a kindred spirit of sorts in our mutual struggles with business politics, the powers that be always choosing the bottom line over the people that got them the bottom line to begin with, and our love of sports, live or online. The bummer about knowing your talent lies in the written or spoken word is that the people you have to often go through to get the masses to see it don't even have time to read it. Sometimes they don't read it at all, instead relegating it to someone younger who can't even understand it. Sometimes, they just want their weekend to be a weekend, and not full of reading. And the more you write, the less excited you get sometimes about it, knowing the steps you have to take before you'll ever get any sort of readership. You work a marketing job, you complete a campaign, and you see your work out there. You write a book or script, and most times no one gets to see how much work you put in. And the creative juices start to falter in the frustration.

Women might not understand that coupled up men don't have many relationships often where they get on the phone with their friends and talk, shoot the breeze, and do it for more than a five minute typical call of --- "Hey, wanna grab a beer?", "OK." Certainly, our calls with another guy don't often last more than 10 minutes tops. My calls with this guy never involved a beer -- they just involved funny. Everything was funny. Nothing was off limits and all of it was hilarious. That's what I remember and cherished; truly free speech about all sorts of things and for me ideas seemed to burst forth from my cluttered mind out of these conversations and all things seemed possible again.

For me, our abrupt parting of the ways was like a death in the family. And I miss him. I miss our mutual trips to visit each other. I miss our yearly trips to ball games. I miss the creative infusion of possibility; the geyser of ideas that would spring to mind was something that I always felt was a most cherished gift I received nearly every time we spoke. I loved him like I would a brother - I rooted for him, cheered for him, and wanted to introduce him to every person I knew as my friend. It was a friendship I was proud to have.

At some point in all our lives we outgrow friendships, or we just decide we've had enough, and we plow forward, leaving all of it behind. However, if it is true we are the combination of all of our experiences, then every person that comes into our lives has some sort of effect on us, be it positive or negative. And they leave and/or fill vacancies that our family and spouses can't. Friendships that provide something for a sustained period of time are indeed special, and their vacancy isn't easily filled like an empty parking spot. Even when we know they are now in the past, some vacancies just aren't filled, and taking the time to remember that is apropos, as sometimes it is a way of acknowledging our feelings as being OK to have, even if they may not have been returned the way we wished it.

So my requiem is for that vacancy in my life that he once filled. It hasn't been refilled, and it may never be.

But I'm still better for it.