done got myself a wifey…

by shadymama

it was a 10 hour drive through the   s c r o l l i n g,   sandy reservations of northeast arizona; baked lands of red that gave the color its name and open stretches of sky that got me flighty and rooted, all at the same time. 

pinnacles the size and shape of creation. 

evergreens and something that smelled just a little like home, outside of flagstaff, az.  high speeds and higher moods on the I-40 and the satisfaction of crossing an entire state in one go.  the spinning shimmer of laughlin, nv, that tiny vegas on a giant river, the air above pulled taut and sparkly with chance and not enough to lose.  joshua trees reaching with their misshapen stretch in the twilight. 

love me some joshua

there were those

neverending final 50 miles,

even more heinous with the dark pressing down, the car feeling even smaller than the swath of road bathed in headlights as we flew.  the total belly drop-down relief of shuddering into that last gas station, that place of neon, fuming, rendezvous – all dusty and cramped, we stretched long limbs and unfolded ribcages, cracked illicit beers and rested bare feet on hot bumpers, backs to the hood and faces to the sky.  marveling in the thick california air, with a temperature like bathwater and a lack.of.longsleeve

giddiness, reuniting

with long-since-seen friends.  there were huge hugs and bright smiles and a bumpy ride in to here, a most magical place. 

no, that's *not* just a large bush...(also, much much thanks to A for the pic).

yes, there are thorny shrubs and cacti abound in the low desert outside of baker, ca – proud home of the World’s!Largest!Thermometer! (which is infinitely less exciting than it sounds) – but somewhere, deep under the sandy, roiling ground, right here, on this spot, there lies some deep and bubbling source of life.  these trees reach high high high, 60-70 feet up into the blinding desert air; they grow in a circle, like safety, limbs and trunks intertwining lazily, diving back down into the sand only to resurface a few feet later, gnarled and reaching. 

we call this spot The Hollow. 

it is thick with magic and comfort, one of those places that touches, if not completely overlaps, with some other dimension, some other manifestation of time and space and what ever else is real.  the hollow is perfect during the day, shaded enough from the glaring, furrowed brow of the sun to spare one the usual way.too.early camping-wake-up in a tent turned sauna from baking.  then, from 11 or noon, it is

beers, breakfast and bullshit.

sitting around the smoldering remains of last nights campfire, we laugh or read or just watch the bees that gather and float, alighting on the tree branches and creating such a cacophony that you can hear the humming from hundreds of feet away.  at night, the hollow beckons you home from yer lost desert wanderings with the gentle flickering of firelight on the foliage sway, and though you feel you must have ventured miles out, you are never lost.  no matter how far, the hollow rises above the duned landscape and scrub brush and you can always see the place from where you came.

it is my favorite spot.

one of my favoritest people .ever.

we spent the first night tired and a little more than a little drunk, relieved to be free from the confines of the car, catching up, creating ruckus and passing out at ungodly hours, each one of us stumbling into our respective spots when we’d had just a few too many.  next morning, hungover and very very quiet, we all emerged, again, one by one, got coffee water boiling and cracked eggs (so many eggs!) onto skillets.  waited for energy

omg no more car gaaaaaaaaahhhhh

 to come back to us.  the menfolk went exploring, came back with discoveries of lava fields, giant pink cacti and the creepiest goddamn elephant i have ever seen.  while they were gone, the ladies sat in a circle around the gigantic stone firepit while i put my head between my knees and tried not to throw up, thinking

“holy fucking god, what did i get myself into?”

more often than not, my stomach is bigger than my eyes, my mouth faster than my brain, my reaction time inhabiting much more than a split second of lag, but this…this, well – 

gah.

the boys returned, the plan of action was set, i called my bestest dearest veevee into the egyptian (our ginormous party tent that vee’s bro had picked up in…egypt) and had the funniest, most memorable conversation of my life.

me:     vee, i cannot do this.  i’m not doing it.

vee:    dude.  do you want to marry him?

me:     of course!  but i’ll just ask him later…when we’re not, ya know – here.

vee :   come on, dude.  you can do this, you’re not a coward, man, i know yer not.

me :    {blank stare}

me:    do you even remember the ostrich heist?

vee:   oh yeah…well.    —     {very slowly} yer not a coward today. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

can you tell i am Completely Freaking Out? thank god fer my trusty veevee.

 

 

the walk of doom.

and then we had a hug and took a picture and i thanked the sky for bestest friends and walked out to ask the lover to accompany me on a walk, for i had something to give him.  he said ok, and i almost cried, but off we went, hand in hand, beer in hand, out to a spot called Sunset Hill, cuz when the sun sets, well…

thanks, again, to A for the pic.

and it was gorgeous twilight softness, and my head finally shut the fuck up and let my heart take the reins, and somehow from my wooly tangled pulse, words were spun deep and threaded up through my throat, to a spot where my teeth and tongue did the knitting and before we knew it, we were holed up, holding each other up, under the tapestry of my request.  and for posterity, that request went something like;

here is a ring and i hope, one day, you’ll wear it, and be my husband.

(!)

and it was very much a lovely moment.  and we very much sat in it and breathed.  and there were tears and words like “honored” and “delighted”.  there was lots of kissing and even more laughing and total, utter relief when the ring fit perfectly and, even better, was totally adored by the one who wore it. (thanks nicola and david!!!)  then, there was a little more breathing, a little more kissing, a little more laughing and we ventured back, to where everyone was waiting.

the return...

and oh, were they waiting !  with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and banners, a tiara and a top-hat and tons and tons of love.  there was cheering, bashfulness, camera flashes and a toast.  there was lots and lots of smiling. 

so much smiling.

my friends are so nice (and, just fyi, that was *after* we had all ravaged the berries and the booze...and it STILL looks pretty.)

and after our moment in the sun, everyone quieted down, and a huge communal meal was made and the rest of the night was spent tripping through sand like velvet, watching the moon glide across the most unearthly sky i have ever looked up at, reveling in love and beauty and friendship, and yes – even, courage.

and, that, y’all, is how i got myself a wifey.

****************************************************************************************

gratuitous photogs

 

like, really goddamn creepy. 'specially swinging from the branches.

 

like, really.

 

 

who's smug and in a top-hat? and check out that ring finger!

  

 
 
 
 

this is A. he is the best. he also takes great pics. thanks A!



oh, veevs.



we're going for "hoity toity" here. i think i succeeded hugely. the lover? not so much.

it's a bit blurry, but it's my favorite cuz it totally captures the *joy

can you see us? (and A - this one truly is the best. gratitude.)

 

the end.

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