19 Puffs of Smoke Installment #10
Copyright James Crawford, 2014
“Is there any individual whose heart opposes this act of love, or needs to bring peace to their soul, by sharing a truth with us?” They’d asked for something like the old if anybody has reason crap, even though I’d counseled against it.
I was relieved that the room stayed silent for the sixty seconds I’d allowed for responses.
“Karyle, do you, with all your heart and intention of spirit, commit your heart, and emotional well being, to the care of Shannon? Will you love her, appreciate her, console her, and support her, through all the trials you face together?”
“I do, and I will,” she answered.
This is the point in the ceremony when most people begin to blubber a little bit. Lesbians, gay men, straight people, modern polyamorous groups, are all the same.
“Please, give her your ring as a sign of your love,” I said, and it was all over for Karlye’s stoic facade. The butch lost it.
Somehow, she managed to get the ring on Shannon’s finger. Maybe tears are an effective lubricant for platinum bands. Shannon patted her wife’s hand and offered her a smile like summer blossoms. It is possible I had a crush on her. Oops.
As soon as Bride Prime pulled herself together, I began the other side of the vows. Shannon handled it with regal composure, and slid her ring onto Karlye’s finger.
They kissed, and it was as delicate as any I’d ever seen. It was a little surprising, actually.
“By the power vested in me by the state of Washington, and the approval of the Universe, I present to you, Karlye and Shannon Johns!”
The room went wild. They always do.
The brides didn’t make it down the aisle. They were mobbed right away.
Stan hugged me, and told me, with puffy blue eyes, how beautiful the ceremony was. I agreed that it was pretty fabulous, and watched the rest of the wedding party go out to the back patio for photo opportunities. It was the perfect chance to jolly my little friend along, so I did.
His reluctance was pretty evident, much to my discomfort. The stranger thing happened after he’d sidled off behind everyone. Chauncy Steel, the Leather award winner, strode over to me in a wave of whispering cowhide.
“Your oratory was superb,” he complimented me.
“Thank you, Mr. Steel.”
“May I call on you when I propose to my boy? I think you have the flexibility to handle a rigorous ceremony.”
I put my hand over my heart, and reached out with my right to shake his. “I am honored and touched that you would consider me for the opportunity to officiate.”
The man actually smiled, and shook my hand so hard I worried it would pop off, and he’d take it home as a trophy. He walked out to the patio with a slight bounce in his stiff stride. Me? I wondered precisely what I’d gotten myself into, besides generous compensation.
No one left me much time to ponder, they pulled me, toga and all, into the group pictures.
“You look like a cheap whore who can’t afford kimono,” Katsu commented, while I was trying to smile between the happy couple. “Even your nipples are less than manly.”
The camera flash went off while I was trying to figure out what a manly nipple looked like. The photographer looked at the image on the camera’s screen and immediately asked if he could take it over. I guess my expression was pretty horrible.
Everyone, and I mean everyone wanted a picture with me. The most shocking was Shannon’s father. He put an arm around me, breathed Bourbon up my nose, and told me to “schmile fer de birtie.”
I smiled, and wished I was someplace else. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. The First Butch grabbed me by the arm so hard my toga almost unwrapped, rushed me out to the limo, and pushed me inside. Once everyone was in, she slammed the door.
It was just the five of us Karlye, Shannon, First Femme, First Butch, and me. Karlye whipped out the strangest bong I’ve ever seen. It was shaped like a woman laying on her back on top of a typical bong. She had a hole in her head for air, and her legs were raised in a V.
The four of them chanted, “This is our wedding bong, it won’t last very long!” Karlye packed the strange thing, lit it up… and inhaled between the glass woman’s legs.
They passed it around as we wound our way through traffic to Stan’s house. He’d been kind enough to offer the lovely couple the use of his house for the reception. The crazy little goldsmith even had the event catered for them as a wedding present.
I guess it was a tighter community than I ever imagined.
The smoke from the glass hoo-hoo started to make my brain furry. I could tell there would be a biblical case of the munchies coming very soon.
“Where… shit… who did you get this green leaf from?” I managed to ask, wobbly as I felt.
“My fucked up family,” Karlye burbled, “grows shit for dispens… dispensaries. This is the Gamma 35-B cannabis strain.”