Children of Startlight, part 3 episode 3 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 5 – PROGRESS
Planning began in earnest now that the engayment had gone public. Questions came in with the “Congratulations”, questions neither Lover nor Angel could answer. When was the wedding? Where? What were their colors? Were they registered anywhere? Who was doing their invitations? Which caterer were they using? Where were they going for their honeymoon?
The answer to every question was the same: “We haven’t gotten that far yet.”
It didn’t take long for both men to realize they were in way over their heads. Lover couldn’t accept that.
“I don’t believe it. I’m the Founding President of the largest goddamn international P.R. and Marketing firm in the world. It’s my job to organize people’s lives, especially after they’ve made a mistake. A bad fucking mistake. And these are people with HUGE jobs who think they’re entitled to everything and I can still organize their lives.”
Angel knew better than to even attempt to unrattle Lover when he was like this. He could tell Lover was in bad shape because he hardly ever cursed, even when dealing with people with huge jobs, people who therefore made huge, usually ugly, public mistakes (like Angel had on occasion, but they didn’t count because he was, after all, a Rock Star). Lover wasn’t above making a few big ones himself, but Angel wisely decided this was not the time to remind him of that.
Lover wasn’t through. “This is a wedding, a simple little wedding for us and a million or so of our closest friends. Why does everybody wanna be there anyway? What business is it of theirs, us getting married, for God’s sake? Haven’t they ever seen two men get married before? Shit, it’s been years since it finally became legal. And with the people we know, two men getting married happens every goddamn weekend. Shit.”
Lover had added pacing to his rampage. Angel knew what was coming next.
“And what the hell are you doing about it? Laying there looking all perfect and hot and not doing a goddamn thing to help pull this thing off. Huh?”
Angel had exactly the right, helpful answer to that question. “I think we should hire a wedding planner.”
That stopped Lover in his tracks. “Oh,” he said, perplexed and a bit undone. “Why didn’t I think of that? That’s the kind of thing I usually think of.”
“I don’t know?” Angel answered hesitantly. He didn’t want Lover to go from one tirade to another. But Lover wasn’t like that, anyway. He came over to the sofa, where Angel was laid out in leathery beautifulness and hung his head in shame.
“I’m sorry. That must have sounded kind of unusual for me, huh?”
“Yeah, it looked strange, but I get why. This isn’t some client with a public problem. This is us. I know how important this is. I feel it, too. This makes it real. Not that it wasn’t,” Angel quickly corrected himself. “I just know what this means for us and I know we want it to be perfect. It’s just that, sometimes, good enough really is good enough, baby. It’s like in school, remember? A B+ is the same as an A-, right? And it will be perfect, don’t worry. Besides, do you really think she’ll let it not be perfect?”
The steam went out of Lover as he collapsed like a balloon. “You’re right. You’re absolutely right.” He pointed to the space between Angel and the back of the sofa. Angel said, “No.”
Lover was taken aback. “What do you mean ‘no’?
Angel grinned as he saw Lover gearing up for another tirade. But Lover saw the angelface and had to smile.
“You can be such an asshole sometimes.”
Angel grinned even more.
“Admit it, that’s one of the reasons you want to marry me so badly.”
Lover groaned and rolled his eyes. Then he climbed over Angel and wrapped himself around him (as usual). The taller man reciprocated while they both got comfortable.
“Why do you put up with me?” Lover asked, quietly.
“Because you love me and I love you,” Angel replied. “And we need each other to breathe.”
“Awww,” said Lover. “That’s the second right thing you’ve said in the past five minutes.” He couldn’t resist. “That must be some kind of record.”
That’s when the fun really started. Somebody even warned, “Oh, step off, bitch!” before the second pillow landed.
So the search was on for the perfect Wedding Planner. With the word out (like their lives), it wasn’t long before the phone, email, texts, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, snail mail and personal messenger services all blew up. Lover had calmed down (a bit) but that didn’t mean the search wasn’t still a pain in the ass. Angel decided to eat copious amounts of ice cream and let the process take care of itself. Which it did.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?” asked the familiar voice of the Guitarist through the smartphone.
“Aw, man, am I glad to hear from you,” replied the Rock Star, his mouth full of dark chocolate. “Lover’s losing his mind over just picking the Wedding Planner. Can you imagine if he’d decided to handle the whole thing himself?”
“Yeah, sounds about right. And your part in all this is … ?”
“Well, at the moment I’m eating the rest of the Grasshopper ice cream. I’m trying to finish it off before he gets home. He’s always afraid I’m gonna have a fat hangover.” The two old friends shared a laugh over that. “Hey, now that I think about it, why are you on my phone?” the Rock Star asked.
“Well, like the good friend I am, I’m looking out good fo’ ya. I’m gonna give ya the name of the Wedding Planner we used.”
“Aww, man, I owe you big time.”
“Yep, and don’t think I won’t collect at some point. You remember my dog?” Danno the dog had passed on a few years before. The Guitarist had had to do some serious talking before Wife let him get another one. He named this puppy “Columbo,” the key word being “puppy” and the name reflecting the Guitarist’s thing for vintage cop shows.
Wife wasn’t very happy about puppy training and occasionally made comments about finding him a new home. Sometimes the Guitarist couldn’t tell if she meant the puppy or him. He’d decided to put out feelers just in case and, after the last “major fail” attempt to house train Columbo, figured a good wedding planner had to be worth 2 or 3 nights in the guest room at the Rock Star’s place. Just in case the puppy needed a break.
With the Wedding Planner dilemma solved, things began to fall into place. A date was chosen in June, the only traditional thing Angel said he would allow. They decided the perfect location would be the Museum of Latin American Arts to honor Lover’s mom and their Caribbean heritage. The band insisted on playing the music and became very mysterious about what music they were planning to play.
The menu would be Cuban, accented by pizza, Thai and hotdogs. There would also be copious amounts of Grasshopper ice cream, fireworks and sparklers. Their colors would be everything except pastels. The invitations would say dress was optional and leave that up to the guests. (Tweets would have to be sent later with clearer guidance, especially for Angel’s more “unusual” friends. Clothes were mandatory; the style was optional. They didn’t want to completely scare the suits.)
Angel hinted that the museum had numerous nooks and crannies and nobody would miss them if they were to decide to continue with their occasional food experiments in the new setting.
Lover declined the implied invitation regarding food but did think the nooks and crannies part was kind of interesting.
The only thing that provoked some heated discussions was the destination for the honeymoon. Angel really wanted to go to Turkey but Lover absolutely refused. And since the whole point of a honeymoon was to go somewhere together, where the newlyweds focused on each other, Angel acquiesced. But not easily.
“Why not?” he asked, more than once. “It’s exotic, it’s somewhere we probably shouldn’t go, it’s cheap so we could spend a lot of money and get a lot of stuff and have it shipped home, plus there’re fairy chimneys. And we’re fairies.”
“Look,” said Lover, using that tone of voice, “I know why you want to go to Turkey. And the only giant penis I want you concentrating on is mine.”
Angel had to admit, he had a point. And, since they’d be husbands by then, he decided it wasn’t worth having their first fight over.
“OK, how about this one. Since Turkey’s out, I hear there’s this place called Manly Beach in Australia. Sounds perfect for us, huh?”
After all this nonsense (as Lover called it) they decided it was back to Bora Bora, a beautiful place they both loved and, like each other, couldn’t get enough of. To humor Angel, Lover suggested that Manly Beach might be a side trip. Maybe. If there was time. He intended to keep Angel very, very busy and very, very happy.
Chapter 6 – IT WAS PERFECT
It had been cloudy in the morning with rain threatening throughout the afternoon. Starlight wouldn’t have that so she put in a Special Request (again) and the sun broke through about 10 minutes before they arrived at the Museum. The Wedding Planner was amazed at the sudden change in the weather. The two husbands-to-be had optimistically expected it and not even brought umbrellas. It wasn’t that she solved every problem that ever came up; she’d demonstrated that on more than one occasion. But Starlight just could not abide the thought of it raining on her boys’ day, even if she’d been told in her childhood that rain on a wedding couple meant fertility.
Plus, she already knew what was coming. They wouldn’t need rain.
The Museum was a grand and fittingly unusual setting for the wedding. Lover was overwhelmed. The vibrant colors, the asymmetrical walls, the spirituality of one room balanced by the physicality of the next, the colors flowing from one to the next. He was surrounded by the culture of his childhood. It was “home.” The familiar smells coming from the Museum’s caterers wrapped around him like the man he loved.
Something on the edges of his soul kept whispering to him. “Home.” “Home.” It both comforted and for some reason disturbed him, as if he wanted to be there and wanted to run away at the same time. He attributed it to pre-wedding jitters like the ones he knew his soon-to-be husband was having.
Angel was wandering from room to room in amazement at everything he saw, everything he heard, all that he felt. He’d become familiar with the cultures of the Caribbean through learning Lover. He could even make a few dishes without destroying a kitchen if he really tried (his destroying kitchens days were way over). Anyway, he wasn’t asked to cook that often and, actually, he was glad of that. And secretly, glad he had this chance to be jittery in private.
While the Wedding Planner was off discussing details with the Museum’s Events Coordinator, Angel and Lover crossed paths in the room where the ceremony would be held. The empty room was filled with sunshine and a radiance that was itself sacrosanct. Though large enough to hold the million and a half people they insisted they just had to invite, there was a surreal sense of intimacy surrounding them. For a while they stood there, looking around and then at each other.
It was at that very moment they both realized exactly what was about to happen. The ceremony was the acknowledgement of the marriage that had occurred between them years before, they both knew that. But something about it … something was more than that, more than just the public recitation of romantic and meaningful words accompanied by beautiful music in front of people they loved, dressed in their best expressions of who they were. Although neither man was conventionally religious, each had an understanding that there was more to Life than life. And that it was holy. It was a touch of the Forever Present. It required honor and respect alongside their beyond-Forever love.
Holding hands, of course they had to approach the dais to look around and see where this sacred event would happen. Again, this time in wonder and surprise, they turned to each other. Angel spoke first, taking both of Lover’s hands in his, his voice husky with emotion.
“I love you so much. I can’t imagine living without you. Every day when I wake up, no matter where I am in the world, no matter whether or not you’re there, you’re with me. You’re my home and you’re my heart. There’s no happiness without you, no safety, no peace.” He paused, taking a few moments to gather himself and his thoughts before continuing.
“I don’t know the words to tell you everything you are to me,” he whispered. “This is such a poor, insufficient, unworthy attempt to do that compared to your bravery, your courage to love me.” Again he stopped, overcome with the love he wanted to, needed to express.
“I need you to know how grateful I am that your beautiful soul loves me. I don’t deserve it.” Lover shook his head, about to disagree but Angel stopped him. “I don’t. I know that. But I can promise you that you will always have the best of me that I can offer because, without you, I have no best.”
He could hardly finish what he so desperately wanted to say, but with an extra effort, he did.
“I always have loved and always will love you and I will never, ever leave your side.”
Lover’s heart was brimming, keeping hold of all Angel had said and everything he himself was feeling. He reached out and took the angelface in his hands, smoothing Angel’s hair, speaking from his soul as he poured out his love.
“My Angel, my Love, I was so empty before you came into my life, into my heart. Did you know that?” Lover wiped the tears beginning to fall from Angel’s eyes before wiping away his own. “I don’t think I ever told you. But now, as I look back, how could I have lived, ever really been alive, before you?”
For a moment he was still, allowing his soul to form the words.
“I knew my heart was waiting for you before we ever met. I knew it. My real life began that day and every day since …” As Angel began to shake his head, Lover knew he was thinking about the days when he’d been, or thought he’d been, unlovable. It was Lover’s turn to disagree. And to reassure.
“Yes, I know, but it’s true. Every day I have thanked God for you. You know, people thought I had it all and for a while, so did I. But you, you showed me the missing pieces of myself. And, every day, the more you let me love you, the more you teach me how to love myself.”
Lover took a deep breath, ready now to be as honest as he knew how.
“I am not here, not really ‘here’ without you. It’s because of you that I can love. And I love you. I love your spirit, your open heart, your brilliance that shines in so many ways, that sweetness and that strength that everybody knows is you. I am so privileged to be loved by you.”
Reflecting Angel’s love back towards him, this man who owned his heart, his soul, Lover said the words.
“I always have loved and always will love you and I will never, ever leave your side.”
These were their vows, spoken in reverence and truth. They were sealed with their kiss, the sweetest kiss, the best kiss ever.
And, as they turned, Lover’s hand through Angel’s gentlemanly arm, to proudly walk back down the aisle, truly united from that moment on as husbands, lovers of their love, the heart of their hearts, the Wedding Planner and the Events Coordinator returned. It was clear from the glow on the couple’s faces that something very special had just happened in that sunny, love-filled, otherwise-empty room.
Starlight danced on Saturn’s rings as the lightest shower began to fall in L.A., the sun still shining, the tiny raindrops sparkling like glitter in the air. It was perfect.
Tomorrow in “Children” – Preparations for real