An excerpt from today’s diary entries:
I went to the G2H2 party last night at Gordon’s amazing house, all vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, and massive exposed beams, like a National Park lodge. He and his partner ran it as a B&B for 15 years before getting tired of all the work it entailed. It was a potluck, so I set out my tabouli (which I forgot and left behind), loaded my plate, and sat down at a table on the lawn with Richard (doing well, even playing volleyball, five weeks after his stomach surgery) at the end and Karl & Wes across from me. Someone I didn’t know came and sat beside me. The conversation turned to Karl and Wes, who have been together for 25 years and were just married a few weeks ago. They registered Karl’s sister and (I think they said) Wes’s brother as ministers, had a small ceremony at their lake house in Pennsylvania, then went over to the Maryland side of the lake where they could legally file the paperwork. They were just back from their honeymoon in Provincetown.
The man beside me — George, as it turned out — said he and his husband were to celebrate their second anniversary next week, having gone to New York to get married. He paused wide-eyed for a moment, saying “Wait, it is next week, right?…” before reassuring himself that he hadn’t forgotten it. He was vague about it because the day they really celebrate each year is the date they met, June 12th. He said they’ve been together 17 years.
“17 years?” I asked him, quietly. “So… June 12th, 1996?”
He thought for a second. “Yes, that’s right, it was 1996, June 12th.”
I debated, “Should I tell him?”, but it was too strange not to share.
“I know it’s a little morbid, but that was the day my first partner died,” I said.
What are the chances that I go to a party with a few dozen guys and someone sits beside me with that connection? I should have asked exactly how and when (what time of day) they met, to pinpoint the timeline. They may well have been shaking hands for the first time the very moment I was walking out of the emergency room. How the world does spin ’round and ’round!