©James Crawford, 2014
I didn’t find out how I made it home until Katsu, the ghost, appeared to me while I was taking a shower the next morning. My head hurt, and my mouth felt like a dry cotton field.
“I got you home,” he told me.
“Uh,” I replied.
“I possessed you when the little guy tried to mess with you.” My Bodhisattva sounded smug. “Then we hitchhiked back here.”
“You’re pretty well-known around here for such an annoying little asshole.”
“Why are you so mean to me?” I always whine when I have a hangover. It isn’t one of my best qualities. “All I want is to make a living and approach spiritual truth!”
“You’re lazy! When I was a boy, my father hit us with sticks! When you were a boy, your father asked you about your feelings! You’re soft, and stupid.”
I cried in the shower, and after a while, my tears flowed into the sewer. I suppose it was cleansing, but it didn’t do anything for my headache. Only electrolytes, water, and Midol, seemed to do anything for me with a lobe-crushing hangover.
My face was still puffy when I looked into the mirror after drying off. The dreads on my head were limp, I’d forgotten to put on a showercap. There wasn’t anything left to do but get back in the shower and wash all the crap out. I’d do the wedding with long, ginger hair, instead of clumpy snakes.
“See, you really are a girl with hair that long and nothing but stubble for chest hair.” Katsu poked at me.
“Damn it! Fuck off to wherever you came from! If I eat some shrooms will you go away?”
He seemed to consider what I said for a moment, and then shook his head. “I think I’m stuck with you, and it pisses me off.”
“Oh, joy.” I dripped sarcasm and water onto the bathroom floor. Then I wrapped a towel around my head, and another around my waist. It was time to get ready for the wedding.
In retrospect, I should not have preloaded against my social anxiety before leaving the house. The wedding party, and their friends, believed in partying hard. That definitely had something to do with the way things played out.
Karlye was an impatient bride. Frightfully so. She stood beside me and vibrated with nervous intensity. Luckily the floor was poured concrete, painted salmon pink, and could take a six on the bridal Richter Scale.
“Everything is going to be okay,” I whispered. “Just breathe from your center and let the peace flow outwards.”
“She’s late,” Karlye hissed, “the bitch is late.”
“Its traditional,” I replied. “Here’s the music. She’s coming. Breathe and think of happy puppies.”
She probably would have punched me, if Shannon hadn’t appeared from behind the curtains. Her soon-to-be spouse was radiant. Really, really, radiant.
Did I even mention her father was walking her down the aisle? He refused to show up for the rehearsal, claiming that he didn’t need to know how to walk. I strongly suspected he was homophobic.
Shannon and Karlye clasped hands once her father peeled off and took his seat in the front row. That was my cue to begin the wedding ceremony.
“Friends, family, and loved ones of all preferences and races. We gather today in view of the World, the Universe, and one another, to celebrate an expression of love and commitment between Karlye and Shannon.”
Stan started weeping quietly. Chauncy nodded with grave enthusiasm, and the First Butch blew her nose loudly.
I continued. “The Universe gave us the wonder of creation, which is an expression of the Great Love. Karlye and Shannon stand together as an example of the Great Love in action. Where, now, there are two people, by their will, soon, there will be one heart between them.”
Shannon’s father took a drink from the flask in his sock, and tried to cover up his tears. Excellent on the tears, nerve-wracking on the booze.