When it is finally morning, when the birds have seen the sunrise and decided the sky is sufficiently bright, I have been opening my eyes these past few days to see what at first glance appears to be a glorious painting sitting underneath the pane of my window. It’s there every morning, sometimes waiting quietly behind the diaphanous curtains of this immaculate spare bedroom I’ve been sleeping so deeply in, and my breath catches a little in my chest when I push them away. I’m visiting my aunt, see, and she lives in the mountainous west where there are trees of every kind, wildflowers, myriad graceful animals, and thin, profoundly clear air. It occurs to me at multiple points in the day, I would live here forever in this natural paradise if I weren’t so acutely happy elsewhere right now.
Here, there is the white rabbit always soundlessly wandering through the rooms like a friendly little ghost (the very rabbit that used to be mine, until of course I was forced to give him up to my aunt and her lovely partner as I departed for the dizzying world of college and its petless dormitories). There is also my dad, uncomfortable and reluctant in all gay-themed conversation, bravely beating down the conservativism that rages in him in order to exhibit his support for his sister’s decision to marry her partner in Vancouver, Canada in two days. After all, that’s what we are here for, and we are waiting aimlessly until the moment arrives, the vows are spoken, and their love is federally recognized and therefore legitimate, or something to that effect. And, finally, there is something else here in the rocky West: there is Nora. Nora’s a brilliant Irish woman with an accent that galvanizes my spirit and raises the tiny inconspicuous hairs on the back of my neck. Every time she speaks (and most often it is to my aunt or her partner, as they have long enjoyed the privilege of her friendship and confidence) I am compelled to silence all other intruding perception; I cannot explain it. I would say this giddy fascination contains the guilty seeds of a silly little crush, but she is much older than I, and I am happily taken by a beautiful girl whose intelligence and wisdom are much superior and whose age strays from my own by a meager month. But there is something in this Nora that envelops my attention entirely, such that when she crouches into her shameless black gas-guzzler, waves and winks sweetly at me, and returns to her tranquil Western home a few miles away from my aunt’s place, I am left with an unidentifiable form of awe – a hybrid mix of wonder and inexplicable yearning.
Anyway, these idiotic passing fancies of mine are all of little importance when weighed against our (my dad and my) principle purpose for visiting: to be witnesses at my aunt’s gay wedding in Vancouver. We’re to drive there at daybreak in a Charger that in all likelihood will fail to accommodate for the entirety of our bulky luggage. By tomorrow night I will be sitting cross-legged on some hotel balcony writing a song about a girl I miss while the wet breeze slides off the ocean and into my hair, and I’ll smile just for knowing that we’re all there to celebrate the very real love of two wonderful, independent women. Already, I am learning so much from them, and already I want my girlfriend to be there with me, to see all of it with her gentle eyes, to see how fierce and tireless the breaths of real love can become when two forty-something year old women still wake up every morning and thank god for the other.