Thursday, March 13, 2008

We Prophesy In Part

Finally, the end of it! Thanks for sticking with it!

Before he gets up to read, Jeff tells me that he's more afraid of looking nervous than of being nervous. But I'm nervous for him, and I find myself mouthing the words as he says them: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And I think about Paul and his clearly delineated life, the before and after of seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus and how he made sure everyone knew what had changed him. My own life has its before and after and not even my closest friends know about it.

Now Krista stands where I stood last night, looking radiant in a traditional wedding dress, and I remember how she'd confessed that marrying Leland wasn't about love, that love was too complicated, but that he was stability and how everything in her life and this ceremony conspires to that end, from her father giving her away and then assuming the position of minister. But I also remember that right before she met Leland, she'd called Jeff drunk one night a little over a year ago and told him that something horrible had happened, but she never said what. I can hear Jeff reading: For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

When her father pronounces Krista and Leland as man and wife, Jeff does something people have been doing at weddings for years, but it catches me more off guard than anything he's ever done. He cries. I start to panic because I'm not good at comforting people. I know how to arrange things so they look better, but it's not the same thing.

People start filing out of the church, and I look at Jeff. He's just sitting there, tears running down his face, looking at the wedding program.

"It's going to be okay," I say, taking his arm in mine. I sit there with him watching everyone leave, whispering comforting phrases that could mean anything, acting as if they make sense, and I believe them.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Song writing is about getting the demon out of me. It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won't let you." John Lennon

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Beautiful Boy David Sheff

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

Janet's Lunch. Wheatcakes, babycakes, if you know what I mean.--Rodney Dangerfield

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think Paul was so great because he translated the Greeks' own literature back to them in a new way, just as John Lennon translated rock and roll back to Americans in a new way.--Herman Northrup Frye

Anonymous said...

Any old way you use it.--John Lennon

Tim said...

Michelle I loved this story! Parts of it sure captured the awkwardness I've felt at such social functions where I didn't quite fit in.
No one can ever tell you that you missed your true calling. The way you can write down words and have your readers feel them instead of just reading them... you were born to write.
Have a great Wednesday!

jodi said...

Hey Girl, I am currently reading "Beautiful Boy" and will be reading "Tweaked" next. Janet's makes the BEST raspberry pancakes in the world!! From scratch one order at time....yummy!

tui said...

"Settling" seems to be the new thing. Seeing marriage as a business partnership, rather than love. I find it all quite creepy honestly. I'd rather be alone.
But then again when I'm 50 with 5 cats I might see things differently...


the walking man said...

"ol Jeff certainly let his life stop when he lost Joy didn't he?

"I sit there with him watching everyone leave, whispering comforting phrases that could mean anything, acting as if they make sense, and I believe them."

I guess that's what friends do, just I hope no one ever does that for me.

And if anyone thinks that I was implying that you shouldn't write, fuck 'em they're 100% wrong. Anyone who has read even the smallest piece of your work knows that is what you were born to do. But then and again if I am not allowed an opinion on what I read then they may as well take my other eye as well.



Charles Gramlich said...

It's very fine how you can juggle the reactions of two characters so well in your work. I have a tendency to focus on one character to the exclusion of the other, then shift. But here, especially when she is comforting Jeff, I can see through both sets of eyes at once.