In My Write Mind
It was meant to be a solemn moment of commencement for the newlyweds, both born and raised in Queens. It turned into a bad sitcom. As Musiq's "Love" blared over the dimly lit banquet hall at the JFK Holiday Inn, two of the most awkward people this side of Cosmo Kramer were attempting to dance to their first song as a married couple.
If you decide to do them the favor of calling it a dance.
While the song itself was appropriate, the footwork that they displayed was not. It more resembled what might be a mating ritual from a third world nation. It was THAT bizarre. The crooner from Philly could barely be heard over the din of laughter that filled the room. I was sent to take pictures of a moment that turned out to be more priceless than precious. As the camera clicked and whirred, Musiq clicked with his high notes, and my good friend Ben, the groom, clicked upon his bride's toes for the umpteenth time, something rushed over me.
No, it wasn't a rush of laughter, as was the case with the 200 or so family members and well wishers in attendance. It was more like a rush of reality. I was that song at that moment. Even though I'd heard the song a million times before--almost to the point of nausea--and could recite the words verbatim at the drop of one of the diminutive singer's head wraps, it was then (while focusing the camera lens and my mind at the same time) that the words Musiq shouted made exact sense to me.
Immediately, I started thinking, "There are so many things I've got to tell love, too, like to hook me up and to holla at your boy sometime soon."
In the past I had always used it's name in vain, casting it aside as if it were unimportant or unnecessary. But today, on the occasion of my good friend Ben's nuptials, while he two-stepped with the woman that he couldn't live without, I realized what I was living without--love.
And as he and his bride swayed back and forth as if they were strangers, my mind swayed toward all the strangers that had come into my life over the past year. Beautiful women that I had wined and dined, treated with respect and dignity. However, looking back, could I say that I really ever loved any of them? Could any one of these be the "love" who, without them "being in my life, things were destined to change"?
With my 34nd birthday tapping me on my shoulder like a damn bluebird that is in my window, I find myself in a state of flux. It was sobering for me to acknowledge that I was the only one left of my crew to be unmarried, with every one of my boys undoubtedly talking to and finding love.
And then there was me.
All those years of being fearful, breaking promises as well as hearts when all I had to do was follow Musiq's lead and have a heart-to-heart...Who knew?
So when Musiq sang, "At first you didn't mean that much to me, but now it seems you're all I need," I was not only mouthing the words, I was meaning them.
This day, a Soulchild screeched out my feelings at top decibel level. When he spoke about love as if it were all that were important, spoke of it like a man who had just come around to seeing "for better or worse" and still would choose love first--that's when I saw love's face as a reflection of my own.
Granted, it was a face that was shrouded in pageantry and regalia for my man Ben and his new wife. And mixed up in a bad sitcom laugh track with the ineptness of their mangled first tango. Maybe my judgment was blurred. Maybe the wedding cake had rum in it. Regardless, the moral of that afternoon was--and still is--that love should expect a call from me soon.
So as I drove home from the reception, having received my marching orders loud and clear, I soaked in the irony of the afternoon. For just as my man and his wife had to work on their footwork, I too had work to do. But for that one afternoon, I was that song. I was love.
Just like Musiq.
scribbled by Will at 2/03/2005 07:22:00 PM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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