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Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 5 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington

April 1, 2012

 The characters in this story are fictional and not intended to depict any individual.

The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.

The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.

Table of Contents

 The Ceremony is adapted from “The Humanist Wedding Service by Corliss Lamont

 

CHAPTER 9 – So, Once Again

June 8, 2024 was one of those perfect days in L.A., sunny, balmy, a perfect 74 degrees. It really did make the city look like one of those postcards on sale in the souvenir shops. Angel had picked the date himself, careful to make sure the day coincided with one of numerology’s “Master Numbers,” twenty-two. He took the temperature as another good sign, since it added up to the other “Master Number,” eleven. Angel had never let go of his “alternative” beliefs, just like Lover still said, “God” occasionally–and meant it.

Starlight didn’t much care what they said or believed, as long as they both knew they were referencing the Forever Present, Who had made all beliefs so that they began at the Beginning and ended there, too.

The guests began to arrive in plenty of time for the ceremony to enjoy the pre-ceremony craziness. It was like a combination awards show/holiday picnic/circus and, somewhere in there, a wedding. There were limousines, tour buses, triple-wide motor homes, motorcycles, bicycles, even stilts and pets (mostly little hand-held dogs, also dressed for the occasion) and a long (very, very long) wait to arrive at the multi-colored, abstract-patterned carpet leading into the Museum.

Everyone really was dressed to fit their own personality, so the crowd fit in perfectly with the vibrant colors of the Museum. The LGBT community was fully represented in all its diversity. Musicians, performance artists and drag queens in outlandish costumes mingled with royalty, who chatted with bikers showing off their tattoos. Movie stars chatted up producers, agents, directors and each other. The wait staff moved through the guests with trays of hors d’oeuvres, goblets of champagne and sparkling, non-alcoholic beverages. Children played hide-and-seek behind designer gowns (and designer behinds).

A special area had been set up just for the children, festooned with balloons, streamers and YAY banners to decorate with colors and stickers and crayons. Colored pencils and markers (with washable ink, of course) and all kinds of paper to draw their names on were there, too.  Tissue was stacked in huge piles to make roses in all the colors of the rainbow (in honor of the couple), while face-painting, a magician, temporary tattoos (in honor of the Rock Star), lots of laptops for games (provided by Lover and going home with each child) and a special “kids buffet” (with no broccoli) rounded out the fenced-in “Happy Zone.”

As the Wedding Planner had wisely put it, “Children don’t always understand weddings but every child understands fun.”

Some of the adults wanted to play, too, but they weren’t allowed in “Happy Zone,” although the kids were always visible and monitored by their familiar nannies, childcare providers, tutors, teachers and security personnel, each personally approved by a parent (in writing–Lover was taking no chances).

“But why can’t I go?” The whining was heard from more than one grown-up, spouses and partners having to explain that everything wasn’t for everybody. Besides, no adults were allowed in without an I.D. and a child and parent who would vouch for them. And even then invisible ink was used to identify everyone.

Security was extremely tight for all kinds of reasons. Some was highly visible … and a lot weren’t.

Everyone who’d been a special guest at the “Gratitude” concert was also at the wedding. They were old and good friends of the couple: Starlight’s BFF and her husband, the Limo Driver—who did not miss his old job when he exited the limo that Lover and Angel had sent for them; the entire staff and families of Lover’s seven offices, both domestic and overseas, for whom Lover covered all travel expenses; the Computer Wiz and his “special guest”; special friends from the mountain town; staff, artists and suits from the recording company; the Editor, editorial staff and photographers of “Rolling Stone” (neither the Rookie Reporter nor the Intern had made the guest list—wonder why?), fellow and sister performers from the 2:00 AM shows and cabaret performances the Rock Star had done with his friends early in his career and the recordings, songs and videos he’d done since. The collaborators, music producers and video directors were there, too, all with their partners/spouses. 

The Dancers were there and of course the Band, still being very mysterious about the music they planned to close the ceremony and later play for the reception, something that still made Lover very nervous. Angel tried to reassure him about the Band’s good taste. Lover knew the Band too well to fall for that.

The Exec was there, genuinely happy for Lover and Angel. It didn’t matter that he was still with his Partner from before the “Gratitude” concert; Angel was still a bit insecure about him and remembered when the Exec had rightly cussed him out. This time it was Lover’s turn to reassure.

It was a good thing that the Therapist was there. She’d known they’d be fine but it never hurt to be there and not be needed rather than the other way around. Besides, by now the three were no longer counselor and clients, but dear friends.

Of course the two men’s families were generously represented. Everyone from Angel’s immediate and extended family was there. Lover had sent and paid for his family to attend as well. Everyone was there except for his Twin Sister, who’d died of an overdose years before. Lover missed her.

Everyone stood as they entered the room transformed from “auditorium” to “chapel.” Holding hands, proudly they walked down the aisle to the Band playing that first song Angel had ever written for Lover. By the time they reached the dais, both men were infused with the love and Joy they could feel around them.

There were two officiates, one the minister of the local MCC congregation. The other was a friend who happened to be a judge and who, by her civil authority, could legally pronounce them wed. Only one officiate was really needed but the couple wasn’t taking any chances.

When they reached the dais where the officiates awaited them, Lover leaned over to Angel and whispered, “Insane asylum.” Angel choked with laughter and then coughed to cover it. Nobody was surprised. There were giggles and chuckles throughout the room which quieted into silence as the wedding ceremony began.

“Outlaws of Love” – Adam Lambert

 

CHAPTER 10 – One Day Their Time

Officiate #1:  Please be seated. We are here today with our families and friends as Angel and Lover dedicate themselves to the happiness and well-being of each other.

Officiate #2: Marriage is the most intimate of human relationships. It is the supreme sharing of experience and adventure. Today Angel and Lover proclaim to the world that their lives are one.

Officiate #1: We see the human spirit as one that celebrates the Joy and beauty of Life, an inseparable unity of reason and emotion, the firmest foundation for married love.

Officiate #2: In love of this kind love endures because two people love many things together and not just one another.

Officiate #1: And in love of this kind, sexual intimacy is not only the culmination of desire but is also the periodic affirmation of the inward delight of a shared and active life. Marriage is a cooperative venture in every sense, based on love, respect and the determination of each person to adjust to the other’s temperaments and moods—in health or sickness, Joy or sadness, ease or hardship.

Officiate #2: And in the words of the poet e.e. cummings:

 

                     love is the voice under all silences

                     the hope which has no opposite in fear;

                     the strength so strong mere force is feebleness;

                     the truth more first than sun more last than star

 

Angel and Lover, who’d been holding hands since they’d appeared in the doorway of the chapel, now turned to each other, each man’s hands embracing the other’s. They had come to the vows and promises of the ceremony.

 

Officiate #2:  “Angel, will you have this man to be your husband, to share your life with him, and do you pledge that you will love, honor and care for him with tenderness and affection through all the varying experiences of your life together?”

Angel, with tears in his eyes and great joy, solemnly answered, “I will.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Officiate turned to Lover and asked, “Lover, will you have this man to be your husband, to share your life with him, and do you pledge that you will love, honor and care for him with tenderness and affection through all the varying experiences of your life together?”

Lover looked directly into this man who was his Angel and quietly, with great Joy, nodded and answered, “I will.”

Officiate #1: The couple wishes to address their friends and families.

Now standing side by side, one arm entwined around the other, Angel and Lover turned toward their guests and explained how, the first time they’d seen this room, silent and sacred and bathed in sunlight, they had exchanged in private the vows they would keep for the rest of their lives. They talked about how they had expressed their love and gratitude for each other and had promised to be at each other’s side always. It had been a delicate yet powerful moment for them both. They asked for everyone’s understanding of their desire to keep that treasure between them only, forever. That one day had been their time. They asked for that permission and everyone in the room felt “Yes.”

 

After sharing that, the couple turned to face the Soloist, once again holding hands. Their dear friend and favorite soprano sang a new song Angel had written for Lover:

Always, I loved you as I dreamed of you, Always,

Ever, I would have dreamed forever for you, Always,

Now you’re here with me,

Somehow you found me and in all ways

I will be with you

 

Both facing the soloist as she sang the radiant song, Angel wrapped himself around Lover and kissed the engagement ring on Lover’s hand, he caressing Angel’s cheek in return. Then Officiate #1 announced that Angel and Lover would exchange rings in honor of their marriage.

 

{It was then that Starlight, manifesting as a yellow rose laid gently across a satin pillow on the first chair of the first row, sensed his Presence. Slowly she turned toward a sunlit window near the back of the room and there he graced, her former mentor Indio, Ethereal One, Supreme Spirit Messenger of the Forever Present. It was he who had given her the Peony Nebula to wear to the wedding as her corsage, the Retina Nebula as a bracelet for contrast and to symbolize Completion. Honored beyond esteem, she stood, nodding in humble acknowledgement. He dazzled, nodding in return. He, too, was watching as Angel and his Treasure exchanged rings and said words consecrated by Time for no one but them. “I know that ring,” she then realized, the unusual jewelry Lover had slipped onto Angel’s finger, a light only Ethereals could see emanating from within its stone. She turned again to Indio, her question on her face but he had disappeared, his Essence and the ring the only signs he had been there.

          Starlight smiled at this Supreme Blessing. In this world her boys would never know that they had been destined to be together, and for a singular purpose, millennia before they were born.

          And now that Angel had Indio’s ring, it would be fulfilled.}

 

After each ring was placed on the other’s third finger of their left hand, Officiate #1 announced that the couple also had prepared a reading for each other.

Angel went first.

My Treasure, because you are such a beautiful mixture of cultures and histories, I’ve adapted these words from the First Nations for you:

 

Now you will feel no rain, for each of us will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold, for each of us will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness.

Now we are two persons, but there is only one life before us.

We are each other’s home, each other’s heart

And now, together, we enter into our timeless destiny.

 

Lover was so moved he could hardly speak. With much effort, he began:

My Angel, because you have a depth of heart and spirit so clearly seen by all who know you, and know of you, I’ve adapted these words from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” for you:

 

We were born together, and together we shall be forevermore.

We shall be together even after the white wings of death scatter our days.

But now let there be space for the unknown in our togetherness,

And let [S]tarlight dance around us.

We will love one another, but not make a bond of love,

Letting it instead be a moving sea between the shores of our souls.

 

After those readings there was no way the two men could stay out of each other’s arms. No one remembered who moved into the kiss first, but there were lots of smiles, shared winks and nodding heads among the guests. When it became clear that the couple had no intention of indulging themselves only briefly, both Officiates began to tactfully clear their throats. It had no effect whatsoever. The guests had broken out into spontaneous applause and cheers of approval. The love shared between Angel and his Treasure had once again taken control.

Starlight, used to these public and extended demonstrations of affection, momentarily manifested only for the Officiates and leaned around Angel and Lover. “Don’t worry,” she told them. “This is their ‘normal’. They’ll be done soon.” When it became obvious that “soon” had different meanings in different contexts, the Officiates consulted each other and decided, considering the barely-contained enthusiasm in the room, to just go with it.

 

Officiate #2 (cleared her throat and almost had to yell): Well, then, as Angel and Lover have exchanged vows, rings and promises for a life together, by the power invested in me and by the laws of the State of California, I now pronounce you legally wed as husband and husband. (She hesitated and then, shrugging her shoulders, unnecessarily added, “You may now kiss your husband.”)

Officiate #1: (Chuckling, he thundered,) May you be blessed by the Forever Present and your love live long and true. Amen?

 

The crowd screamed and the pooches barked and howled, “Amen!”

 

The couple finally came up for air to the continued elation, sounds of delighted affirmation and the Band’s spirited performance of “Macho Man.” (Lover had been right about not trusting the Band.) The smiles on the couple’s faces said it all. They turned into grins when they saw Starlight’s surprise. As they ended their kiss and proceeded down the room’s wedding path, every one of the guests seated on the aisle was throwing silver glitter.

When the Officiates followed the couple back down the aisle, they noticed that the first seat on the first row was empty except for the yellow rose lying on the satin pillow, covered now in glitter. Where had she gone?

But the glitter wasn’t the only surprise. Lover had one for Angel, too. Hours later, after the champagne and the toasts (and the hotdogs), the dancing and impromptu karaoke of Angel’s songs–including Angel’s heartfelt serenades to his husband–and the video booth where everyone could record their greetings for the happy couple, some guests suddenly and subtly began to leave the reception, ostensibly with sleepy children in tow. It was so late that Angel and Lover were too happy and busy “exploring” the nooks and crannies around the Museum to really notice.

When they came up for air and reappeared at the reception, Lover’s surprise was in place. Standing all around the room and on either side of the pathway to the car, everyone had lit sparklers, holding them high as the couple made their way to the limo. Although the crowd was unaware, it was in honor of Angel’s return after that first night together in the Great Room. Both of the men, remembering that and all the other Joys and challenges they’d been through to get to this day, were once more in Joyful tears.

Through the limo’s back window, two heads appeared, coming together in yet another newlywed kiss. The heads slowly dropped out of sight as the limo pulled away.

Everyone agreed this was the best wedding ever.

No one at the wedding or the reception had seen the man hiding in the shadows outside the Museum, watching intently as Angel and Lover sanctified their union and celebrated through the evening. Nor did that man see another man hiding in the trees watching him. Indio and Starlight had seen them both. 

 

Tomorrow in “Children” – Children? 

 

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