2/13/16 – 1:42 pm est

Etapa – Stage or phase

Yuengling doesn’t taste the same to me any more. Now it’s too thick, too mealy, too bread-like for my palate. Maybe I’m getting sick. Or maybe I’ve been drinking too much icehouse and I’ve just gotten used to it. Doesn’t really matter. Sitting in Motel 6 in the Banksville burrough of Pittsburgh, my smoking room stinking like an after party, having listened to an intense but brief love-making behind the headboard last night, wanting to fuck, being too fucking tired, she talking about it this way and that, “That was pretty quick,” like you don’t know anything about quick, like at the bar when she used that dessert euphemism that I didn’t pick up on, “Nah, I’m stuffed,” feeling like an idiot, then all this, “I’m glad we both got showered,” and now in bed and blah blah, I love you, I love you too, no sugar tonight, no my friend, none for you, then spending all the live-long morning waiting for Elesha and getting dolled up and on facebook and trying hard to make me smile while not trying hard at all, but wouldn’t I just be the cock of the walk were I to start whining about how we didn’t have sex, about how I feel neglected in this way or that, about how I still wonder why the hell she’s with me, if it’s not secretly just because I fucking pay for things, and round and round we go, and look, the fridge has been turned off the whole time, and look, TSA stole my shaver, and look, I know it’s your friend’s wedding, but I can’t help but feel like some kind of hassle, some chump you’re just gonna shluff off to dance with some hot to trot mother fucker and I’ll go be bitter at the bar, and yes, I know it’s self-pity, yes, I know I’m being over dramatic and stupid, but what more should I feel when lip service is the order of the day, and I wonder again why you would love this diasporadic asshole that shares your bed.

The shame creeps in under the mask of self-pity, turns in on itself, becomes anger, and before I know it she’s crying and I’m berating myself in my head again, caging silence around me like a death’s shroud until she leaves, and then it all comes flooding in in a rush, what a fool, what a goddamned fool.

2/14/16, 11:27 AM EST – Valentine’s Day. What a day for a wedding. Last night, the family Bonhomme and ourselves made good on that age-old tradition of debauchery-before-sanctity (or some such nonsense. The whole marriage thing still strikes me as a bad idea.), and both parties, bachelor and bachelorette, wound up at the same strip club. We raged a private booth with $200 bottles of champagne and tequila, gave our sagest advice to the groom and bride-to-be, and in general spent a shit-ton of money none of us had. Overall, a very satisfactory evening.

I couldn’t even get mad when, sly as a fox in a run, the girl, as she was heading to the bathroom after an auspicious tequila shot, wrapped her arms around me, nuzzled her face into my shoulder. I laughed as I realized the warmth spreading across my chest in gushes was her vomiting. I rubbed her back and told her I loved her. She whispered the same as we embraced, then pulling apart, we both guffawing as our shirts peel away from one another and the cloying stink of bile and lime and agave comes ringing to our noses. I made her give me her sweatshirt and, slick as a boss (if I do say so myself) I manage to remove my puke-shirt in the corner and replace it with the hoodie. No one had noticed, and I tossed the ravaged shirt (via con dios, muchacho!) under a table to the side, a libation offered to the gods of over-priced booze and under-loved dancers.

Smooth sailing the rest of the night, everyone found home safe. Today is the wedding, and by all reports, it should be a doozy. Open bar, fancy digs, good people. And while, again, I wouldn’t advise marriage to anyone, I have high hopes for the couple.

So here’s to them: May your days be long and your nights be pleasant, and may all your love be received in grace and returned in style.