July 31st 1999 was the hottest day ever recorded in Greenville SC. It was 104 degrees that day. It was so hot I had to put ice in my Scotch. I remember that day very well because it was the day I got married. People always thought it would be a “cold day in hell” when I got married but that day it felt like hell had come to visit St. Francis Episcopal Church. Even Father Henry Tollison wanted to know what I had done to piss the devil off. I think that’s when I realized God had a sense of humor. I had waited to get married until I was in my forties. I had several opportunities to get married but sometimes the best decisions are those decisions that didn’t include alcohol, drugs and questionable morals. Come to think of it I had a uncanny ability to make pretty reckless decisions while completely sober but that’s another story. Truth is I got tired of family asking if I was gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
If we were vampires and death was a joke
We’d go out on the sidewalk and smoke
And laugh at all the lovers and their plans
I wouldn’t feel the need to hold your hand
Maybe time running out is a gift
I’ll work hard ’til the end of my shift
And give you every second I can find
And hope it isn’t me who’s left behind
I met my wife Rebecca through a friend of both of ours. Rebecca and I were friends for a couple of years before we started dating. We had double dated together and had mutual friends but as far as us ever going out, I had never thought about it. I can remember having a conversation with a friend about dating Rebecca and telling him, that there would be “no way in hell I could ever go out with that chick.” Yeah, I know, “chick”. As fate would have it she ended her relationship with her boyfriend and I ended my relationship with a FBI/ IRS agent I had been seeing. Fortunately that good decision did not affect me later in life. I was really looking to be audited for years after that. Rebecca started volunteering at a soup kitchen I was involved in and that is where we really got to know each other. One thing led to another and we started going out for lunch after the soup kitchen. I would take her to such wonderful places like Cannon’s in Greer SC., where we would munch on Chicken Livers. She was my kind of girl. I think what really sealed the deal for me was after eating at Macaroni Grill one Saturday, we went hiking and as she was walking in front of me and I was admiring her from the back side. I kept smelling something, not her perfume but the wonderful aroma of the garlic dish she had eaten that I kept walking into. The memories.
It’s knowing that this can’t go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we’ll get forty years together
But one day I’ll be gone
Or one day you’ll be gone
As time went on I got to really know Rebecca as a person. Not only was she beautiful on the outside but more importantly she was and is much more beautiful on the inside. A couple of years went by and it all led to that God awful, hot, summer day in July of ‘99. It was a day that will forever be etched in the memory of my friends and family that came to the wedding because you anytime my wedding is brought up it is always followed by, “it was so damn hot.” The next day was much better. We flew into Halifax, Nova Scotia and it was 64 degrees. So twenty years later, I still am married to my best friend, my soulmate whose devotion to each other continues to freak me out. My endless ranting about lights being left on or bitching about her never having her phone……. you know I would not have it any other way. I am forever grateful and forever blessed. I know that there are times when I am a a**hole but I know I am her a**hole and that too, I am thankful.