When we drove to New York to go to the wedding of Bliss and her man, Bell came with us as far as Columbus, Ohio. Burg was living there at the time and he was our halfway point. Bell came and the plan was to leave him with Burg for the week and pick him up on our way back.
I remember when I got to Burg’s house Bekah was tired and she went to bed pretty quick. It was just me and my Droogs.
“We are going to see him tomorrow,” I said.
Bell sighed in exasperation. “Not this again.”
“Fuck you,” I said.
“Is he being an idiot again?” Burg asked.
“No,” I insisted.
“Huge idiot,” Bell said.
“What is your problem now, Jesse?” Burg said.
“We are going to see him tomorrow,” I said. “I am just kinda, a little, you know—”
“I don’t but okay. Who is this guy?”
“Summit. We are going to see Summit tomorrow. It’s the first time, them seeing each other since me and Bekah got back together. I don’t know, I am just nervous,” I said. I had pictures of big, buff shiny guys with the perfect everything wiping her down after a good run and giving her a massage. I don’t know. Maybe helping her stretch. I can’t really tell you what I had in mind, but my mind was flaring with doubts of whether Bekah would regret going my way when she saw him.
“Summit is the guy,” Bell said to Burg. “You know, the only other guy that Bekah has ever looked at since August 3rd 1997. She had her eye on him for about two days before shaking her head and turning back to Jesse.” Bell shook his head and looked at me exhausted.
Burg set me straight. He said the only thing I have ever needed to hear but I needed to hear it badly. Me and Bekah’s relationship needed to hear this so badly.
“Listen if she has not proven to you that she wants you and only you by now, she never will.” He pointed at me and shook his head. “You can’t ask for any more proof. If you still doubt her, go wake her up and break up with her right now. But don’t do this. She doesn’t deserve this. Don’t doubt this girl’s loyalty to you. Don’t do it. It’s not fair to her, she has earned better.”
So, when we pulled in to Summit’s house the next morning after driving all night I hugged him, told him it was great to meet him, and I went to his house and took a nap.
Bekah told me that him and her were going to go run around town on his motorcycle. I closed my eyes for a moment and pictured her on his bike with her legs against his body and her arms around his perfectly honed chest, and I nodded.
“Have fun.” Then I slept the sleep of the weary and never looked back.
The truth was Burg was right. No woman had ever proved devotion to a man more times than Bekah had to me. She had proved it almost every day I had known her. She wanted me. No one could cast a shadow on that. And I was already asleep when the bike roared to life and she went riding off into the morning with this guy.
When she came back, they woke me up and she went to bed. Summit and I went to a diner and talked for five hours.
He is one of the greatest men I will ever know. He was pulling for Bekah and I the whole time. He is kind and loving. He is funny and smart. He is everything you want in a friend. Everything I had learned to look for. We talked about everything from movies to child abuse. We talked about my past, we talked about his past. By the time she woke up and met us at the diner, the two of us were brothers.
If you ever get the chance, find a friend like Summit. You owe it to yourself to have at least one gorgeous human being in your life. I have quite a few. But this one is a beaut.
We got into upstate New York the next day. We were met at the bed and breakfast by every member of her family. It was a beautiful building, with a scenic park behind it and a great big balcony in the back big enough to hold a score of tables and a DJ. The wedding would be in the park and every member of the family would stay at the bed and breakfast. It was the perfect setting for a perfect wedding. Everything was amazing. My beef was a little rare but after the first two bites I didn’t really care. Artist got caught up in the way Bekah was looking at him while he was eating.
Artist picked up our camera and snapped a photo of her as she looked at us. It is to this day the most beautiful picture I have ever seen of her. In that picture she is looking at love. She is looking at the face of her future. And she finds it perfect.
But I don’t want to be here. Not here, not now. I could talk about her on that day, all day. Could write an entire book about the dress she wore and the way they fixed her hair. But I am a storyteller and my job is to know what you want to hear about. This right here, a rare piece of beef and a gorgeous woman, is not it.
What you want to hear about is the set up the night before. And the event that changed everything for the entire family.
It’s the night before the wedding and the house is fluttering to a slow, peaceful rest.
Family has been coming in all day and everyone is finally here. Everyone is in their rooms and a lot of people are already asleep. I won’t be asleep for a while. And neither will the bride.
She has a lot still to do. She wants more control than some brides and she has not just picked centerpieces and given them to the set-up crew. She has taken that chore in hand.
She has this, candelabra, I think is what you would call it. It holds water and the candle within floats to the top. It is beautiful, it is elegant, and it is going to be given to people as gifts at the end of the next night. They will be the perfect keepsakes. This gift has been planned for almost as long as Bliss has been planning the wedding. She has the perfect number of centerpieces for the guests she wishes to give them to. Everything is perfect.
I’m sitting on the back balcony on a porch swing, enjoying the cool night, and Bliss walks up to me with her head bowed and asks, “Jesse, would you mind loaning me your pocket knife for just a second?”
Wait. That went by too fast for you to see. A lot has brought us to this point. Let’s back up a bit because this is important. This is the moment when they stop fucking with us. This is the moment when they all decide that maybe Bekah and Jesse have a few things figured out. We are going to back up a touch and swoop into a room I am not even in. A room where a gaggle of girls are preparing for the next day.
Bekah is helping pull boxes filled with candelabras out of the bags and setting them on the table. They have to take them out of the boxes and keep the boxes so they can be put back in those boxes before being given as gifts.
Bekah sees Bliss grab the first box and try to open it and Bekah sees the tape holding the box closed.
This is good. This is really good and she needs to watch this whole thing play out, because it doesn’t take a fortune teller to see where this is going. And Bekah wants to enjoy every minute of it.
She sits as Bliss uses her nail and tries to slice the tape. As Bliss uses her fingernail to try to peel up the tape and scratch it up to free the candelabra inside. Bekah sits as the entire collection of girls at this table do the same thing. She sits and she waits. Because it is coming and every minute she has to wait makes it more powerful.
Bliss sees where this is going pretty quick and she knows what she needs. But this is a bed and breakfast. They have a kitchen here. Thank God she won’t have to do the unbearable. She goes looking in the kitchen for anything sharp that she can use to cut this tape.
At this point, it is to be noted that, while you may not know this, for I certainly did not at the time, the insurance on a bed and breakfast insists that the kitchen lock up all sharp implements at night so that no frantic brides can stop the inevitable.
She searches every drawer. Every cupboard. She looks in every nook of this entire room and comes back to scratch and fight again for a few long moments.
And Bekah sits and watches as Bliss goes to every single man in the place but me, asking if any of them have a pocket knife. Anyone at all, does anyone have a pocket knife? And no one does.
After this night, Vigil will carry a knife on him everywhere he goes. After this night, I will never be questioned about my knives again, but on this night, no one can save her. Bliss asks every woman in the building if they have a pocket knife.
Do you hear the desperation?
No woman is carrying.
She walks up to Bekah, unable to look her in the eye.
“Do you think that Jesse would let me borrow his pocket knife?”
“I’m sure he would,” Bekah said. “But you have to ask him.”
This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.