Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Fourth of July weekend. Birthday party. Upstate New York. Marie's husband. Mushrooms.
It was Marie's long time friend, Sebastian's birthday party at his house Upstate where we'd been the week before for the yoga retreat. And it just happens that Sebastian is good friends with Marie's "husband" (She calls him the guy she used to live with as it's been years since they've been together, so it's just a "term" to her, she says). The weekend was planned.
It wasn't for sure, or written in stone, that Marie's "husband" would be there, and it never really came up in conversation that it was a possibility that he would be there, but I felt it. I knew he'd be there. And I resigned myself to the thought.
It felt like destiny somehow.
Sure enough, when we walked into the vast old house I saw a guy with a pony tail and some sort of Indian arm band scamper through a doorway that looked to me like he was probably the "one". Several minutes later on the back lawn with the roar of the waterfall in the background Marie introduced to me her "husband".
"My condolences" he said with his affected, condescending South African accent. "I'm only kidding" he restated as he tried to gauge my eyes.
"Only half kidding, I'm know" I told him. What the fuck did I care? I already had a beer, and I'd been living with the fucking woman for nearly six months. Like I needed him to remind me or let me in on the secret that she was a difficult woman. Fuckin' snobbish asshole.
People showed up and began filling the house with noise and booze, and by midnight, after dinner, everyone was getting to know each other out on the front porch, smoking and drinking and getting high as the large iridescent moon hung nearly full with anticipation of the weekend in the clear sky.
It was going to be a good weekend.
The next day was spent in preparation in the kitchen for the evenings festivities of fireworks and birthday cake. By four o'clock I was ready to start drinking. There twenty or more people to feed and the food preparation seemed like an endless chore. But I was done and ready to have fun when one of the locals who works odd jobs on the house offered me some mushrooms. I took em' figurin' it was as good a way as any to handle being around your lovers "husband" in a strange environment with strange people on the Fourth of July.
A few hours later I was swallowing the mushrooms down with a beer as I thought about the last time that I'd taken them ten years earlier in Amsterdam and how I'd ended up hiding in a port a john in the center of town for the good share of an afternoon, and thought, 'what could go wrong?' as I went up to our room to get my jacket. I saw her "husband" coming out of his room that was next to ours with some Indian war paint on his face. 'Fine', I thought, as I walked into our room, 'that's the way you want it?' I looked into the mirror in and ate some more mushrooms. I wasn't sure what he was up to, but I was on to'em. 'I can play that game too' I thought, as I went back down to the party with a little buzz starting in the back of my brain. There were people eating and laughing and drinking and I started smiling from the essence of my being realizing that I had nothing to worry about, that I was okay, that everything was okay and that the world was all right as wandered the party in and out of conversations.
A little while later I went back up to the room to get another shirt as it was getting cold out when I saw Marie's "husband" coming out of his room again, this time with a feather in the back of his pony tail. 'What was this guy up to?' I wondered. 'Well, if that's the way he wants it' I thought, 'I'll show him. I'll show him.' And I went into the room and ate the rest of the mushrooms.
Something was on the line.
Something was going to be determined.
Something was happening.
I went out back to the lawn where the party was in full swing and ended up next to the "husband" sharing his glass of whiskey and talking about something or other or nothing at all, and determined that he wasn't such a bad guy after all. We even laughed about a couple of things - I don't know what. And as I left him standing there I felt that bygones were bygones, and they weren't even my bygones...
Something was happening.
The night rolled along with long talks on art, the nature of art, the essence of people, capturing people in art. Toy guns were waved, declarations made and drinks drunk.
Later, closing in on two or so in the morning I found myself cornered, being interrogated by a curious woman about my tattoos. I felt like I was being interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, in a movie about my life that I was starring in, and I was helpless to form a coherent thought or statement about anything as the woman snapped a photograph of one of my tattoos, and Marie saved me from the bad interview out of nowhere and took me outside to make out under the stars and I tried to figure out how in the hell I'd ended up "there", with her, in that moment, in that rapture, in that love.
Afterward in bed she willed herself on me, literally infusing herself into me, letting me know that I was "hers" as she spoke to me with her energy the story of her soul as I tried to make love to her, speak to her with my body and my soul, naked and exposed, vulnerable, as her "husband" lay in the other room, his presence trying to keep me from entwining with Marie, her asking me with her body to erase the thought of "him" forever as I entered her and drove the thoughts of "them" and what once was away for good. We were together.
I lay there holding her lost in the union of our energy, a field of color and warmth and love enmeshed. And as I held her close I could smell the essence of her being, and I told her: "You smell difficult."