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In which Jason finally gets a family name. - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
robling_t
robling_t
In which Jason finally gets a family name.
Still cleaning. We have now moved all furniture that's scheduled to be moved, and Dealt With the storage-under-the-stairs in a satisfactory manner, and we're mostly working on mopping-up a few last pockets of resistance before things really start being assigned to their permanent locations. I have lost track of how many times we've been over to drop stuff at $CHARITY... We are going to get the house clean just in time for the gas company to blow the building up moving the meters. (And we nearly got flooded yesterday when the condo-board didn't bother to point out to the guys who came to power-wash everybody else's back decks that our space isn't just an expendable basement... Bah.)


meeksp has rendered an interpretation of the previous installment of the Trevor And Jason Variety Spectacular:



And now I'm kicking this next bit out of the nest so I can Stop Thinking About It. There's a line that I still kind of want to take out back and shoot, but rather than spend another month wrestling with it, I'll move on for now and just ask if it seems as glaringly obvious to you...



***

Jason owns a tie. (It has cartoon fish on, but technically it qualifies.) He greets Jill and me at the smorgasbord with a broad grin that suggests he's already well pleased verging upon insufferable about the outcome of all his planning. "Sorry we're so late, we ended up having to make a stop," Jill says with a nod to me.

Jason lifts an eyebrow, obviously following. "Hey, just so you didn't wreck your appetites for dinner, man, I've been making other people work over hot stoves all day."

I'm not sure whether the sugar-skulls and pumpkins are our couple's choice or some standing decor of Jason's fellow culinary students that no-one had an objection to. Once Jill has finished heaping a plate with a generous taste of everything from gravlax to the rice-and-peas, we pry Jason away from the table of food and go to find our seats in the other function-room. Button-Down's already served himself, deep in an animated conversation with our table-mates over his plate of cheese pasta. (You have the palate of a five-year-old, Jason chides.) We've been placed with family who couldn't be fit at the head table: Michael's mother June, who gave me a look when we were introduced but seems to have been walking herself back from some assumptions; genial dad Leon with his proper Kingston accent; and little brother Philip, in the midst of a divorce from wife number three, or perhaps it's four, I'm not entirely clear because more than one of them seems to have been named Heather. Philip's daughter Martine has been sulking since June confiscated her mobile at the beginning of the evening.

I think I'm wearing the same thing as the bride, Jill says of Sandra's red sari.

Our centrepiece is a small square cake, snowy fondant dimpled with miniature paw-tracks. At the head table two porcelain wolves have found each other on a larger confection, canoodling amidst gum-paste evergreens. The bride's parents exchange wry glances to David's mother and de facto stepmother (for all that Mo laughs and says that one marriage was bloody enough she's still been with Angela longer than she was with David's father) as the bride and groom rise to address the gathering. And I don't have to thank my brother since he's getting college credit for doing the food, Sandra says, to laughs and a goodnaturedly rude gesture from my flatmate. Her toast moves on to address the table next to ours -- their other grandfather Anders, a fond recollection of Susan's late mother, three aunts all strapping and blonde and eyeing me as if they're trying to work out who in the family had the affair with the milkman.

Stuart with his rescue-greyhound, the ring-bearer's corsage askew on her collar.

The newlyweds slice into the cake at their table, which appears to be the signal that their guests are allowed to do the same. Jason presents the knife to his grandmother to do the honours. At the next table over someone says, "Of course some women can eat what they want and they just never show it --"

Jill leans towards me: "Can I eat her?"

"I think my sister might notice if you started picking off her friends," Jason says, not without a certain hint of regret, and shoots a glare over at one of his cousins, who's already loud with drink -- Jason has sidestepped the champagne argument by offering national specialties instead, and I don't doubt I'll be picking him up from the aftereffects of mixing Victoria Bitter, Red Stripe, and akvavit all night tomorrow morning, but the scheme appears to have been a smashing success, in several senses of the word -- adding, "I'll give you five bucks to eat Nils, though."

From the glance Button-Down gives Nils he shares his brother's low opinion of their cousin, but he says, after the way of it being an old family grievance, "At least he has a date."

Jason shrugs, a bit disconsolately I think. "Right about here is where I'm noticing that a couple of the bridesmaids are stunningly gorgeous, but I'm not feeling particularly compelled to do anything about it yet." After a moment's calculated-looking pause he adds, slyly, "Cousin Irene is cute, though."

Irene is Stuart's dog. Button-Down gives his brother a withering look. "She is not my type." Which, inevitably, leads into playful scuffling: no, you're a freak.

Sometimes I wonder what it must have been like for the rest of the family, living with these two growing up.

June has a go at dragging the conversation back onto an acceptable tack, or at least one that looks less likely to involve the bride's siblings ending up wrestling on the floor like the puppies they sometimes still are, by clearing her throat and inquiring delicately after Button-Down's own romantic prospects. He dissembles for a bit before admitting that he's been having doubts about the potential of his latest relationship. "Thing is, he's Jewish. I, um, I could see that getting kind of... weird."

It can be difficult, to ask even the sympathetic to put up with the likes of us. It's fortunate sometimes that Max is such a law unto himself. I think of an observant man, made unwilling, who had refused to let himself be party to this life of blood and accusation, and waited instead in calmly chosen defiance for the end to take him.

(It's a terrible end. I bore witness, for him. Yet I understand why he chose it, as I understand that I haven't that strength.)

Martine looks unimpressed by her cousin's argument. "So?"

The brothers exchange glances, as across the table I can see even Leon's countenance sinking. It occurs to me that Martine may not yet be entrusted with all of the petty details of her cousins' lives. Button-Down takes another run at it: "It's just, I mean, I've already been through the food argument with Ibrahim, I don't know if I can handle going over that again."

This sparks Martine to an impassioned defence of the power of love to overcome all obstacles, which she chooses to impart in a rapid Quebecois French despite her father's entreaty -- Let Benjamin manage his own affairs. To hear her voice raised so sharply calls forth thoughts of a dingy flat in Montparnasse, quarrelling yet clinging for the memories of all those certainties torn away from us all...

I take thee Trevor to be my husband, promising, with divine assistance, to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife, so long as we both shall live.

I excuse myself for the loo. When I come back to the table Martine and Philip have gone, and Jill is saying to a pair of angry looks, "All I meant was that my experience wasn't anything I'd want to turn around and put a kid through."

Jason draws in a breath, but pauses, and says, "Yeah, that's... fair, I guess. Your gig's so much different than ours." Button-Down seems a trifle less mollified, but his shoulders are beginning to relax. "We got talking about Sandra and David wanting kids," my flatmate explains.

(Jill can't, wouldn't, shouldn't, won't, and managed to strongarm the reluctant medical professionals into letting her make absolutely certain of closing off any possibility. I think I'm only surprised that it's taken her this long to get into it with the triplets, who come into the argument as self-evident proof of how desperately their parents wanted to have them.)

We're spared further awkwardness by a general shuffling as it becomes clear that the dance-floor will be made available shortly. The bride and groom make their way to our table: "Still only mostly dead then," David says, clapping me on the shoulder, and explains to Sandra, "We decided to call it a night after Trevor sicked up a raspberry daiquiri and started trying to explain to the waitress how it was okay because it wasn't his blood. Reckoned she might get a bit weird with us after that."

I'd actually thought she'd been regarding us oddly since the karaoke. Jason thumps me on the back before I can respond: "It was touch-and-go for a while there, but he'd never have missed out on being here to offer his congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Turner."

David opens his mouth to object to this mischaracterisation of his marriage, considers, and then says, "Yeah, that is how it works in this family, isn't it."

Even Button-Down is grinning. "You've been accepted into the pack, just be happy they didn't pee on you," Sandra says.

Stuart is approaching for a word with the newlyweds, but his greyhound goes balky, cringing back from the prospect of so many other weres. Or me. He gives up on trying to unwind her lead from his cane and goes awkwardly to one knee to reassure her.

I catch a murmured it's all right, they're family.

Jason goes to offer Stuart a hand back up, and steadies his last few steps. "I'm afraid I can't offer to dance with the bride," Stuart says in a surprisingly small voice. "But I just wanted to say, that, um... well. I think you've all turned out all right."

There's nothing to say to that, really. After giving Stuart a warm embrace Sandra straightens her crown with a hand stippled with wolf-tracked mehndi, and catches at the back of Jason's shirt before he can lunge out onto the dance-floor; "Just remember you promised this wasn't going to be senior year all over again."

"I still say they should have realized that voting me 'most likely to wear a dress to the prom' was a self-fulfilling prophecy." He straightens his shoulders solemnly and goes off to lead the dancers in a jump to the left.

Where our school went wrong was kicking him out of the glee-club that they knew about, Button-Down remarks.

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feeling: exhausted exhausted

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ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: May 23rd, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Awww ... I'm a sucker for weddings. I can't spot your bad sentance (although that should be "Jill and me" in the first paragraph).

Congratulations on the End being In Sight for the cleaning, and we'll see you next week!

-Nameseeker
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 23rd, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Hm, I'm sort of waffling now on whether Muse would argue that as intentional hypercorrection, but whatever. :)

What's your schedule looking like? I've been ruminating on the idea that weather-and-stamina-permitting a walking-tour of T&J locations could be a hoot... ;)
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