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Dolphins, Bubbles, Flames
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The wedding was lovely. How lovely? Let me tell you, in all seriousness: while Scott and Lynne said their vows, standing in the cove on the beach, a v-formation of seabirds flew across the sky behind them, and dolphins leapt in the surf.

I'm not making that shit up. There were dolphins jumping out of the water. I've never seen dolphins out in the ocean like that before. Later on, Scott joked that the dolphins were the most expensive part of the ceremony to arrange.

It was the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended, I think, beautifully written, simple but significant, not so short as to feel slight, not so long as to become tiresome.

As Scott's attendant, I got to read something at the ceremony (an excerpt from I Like You, one of Scott & Lynne's favorite books). There were bubbles blown, photos taken, surf waded in. Very nice. Afterward Heather and I went to the motel and changed, then ambled around Santa Cruz a bit. We had lunch at the Walnut Ave. café, and did a little shopping at Logos. I bought Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun and read it on Sunday -- great fun, and I enjoyed the SF convention setting of course, but it's not as good as her Highland Laddie Gone.

The reception was up in the hills, at the Quail Hollow ranch. Very fun, with Afghan food for dinner and Norwegian wedding cake for dessert, dancing, frisbee throwing, watching horses and (at a bit more distance) deer, including a mother and two baby deer.

I couldn't stop smiling all day, I was so happy for them. Scott and Lynne are two of my very best friends in the world, and they're so amazingly good together. They really bring out the best in one another. We're going to visit them in a couple of months, once summer madness/traveling/etc. winds down.

The night before the wedding, Scott had a get-together at home, and Dawson was there. It was great seeing him, and I spent most of the evening out on the balcony with him, just catching up and playing that greatest of games, "Remember When?" I'm hoping to see him again when I go to North Carolina in a couple of weeks, if we can arrange a meeting in Raleigh. I really have been fortunate when it comes to friends in my life. I don't have that many, but the ones I do have are good ones. Scott and Lynne's wedding ceremony talked a fair bit about the importance of community, and it's true; having a network of good people helps us become better people ourselves. I'm sometimes tempted toward isolation (and I’m never going to be a thoroughgoing social butterfly), but it's good to be reminded how enriching friends and family can be.

On the way back from the reception, driving in the dark, we came upon a short line of stopped cars, and the ones farthest ahead were doing three-point-turns and coming back past us. We pulled off the side of the road, and saw a roaring conflagration in the road ahead, the most concentrated and raging fire I've ever seen. To me, it just looked like a wall of fire, but Heather could see the frame of a car inside it. Whatever had caused the accident, it must have happened shortly before we arrived, because we'd turned around and driven a bit back the way we came before fire trucks and ambulances began to pass us. We drove down to Santa Cruz via an alternate route, the very winding Highway 9, and I was pretty tense the whole time; it's hard to drive when all you can think about is the possibility of impact, your gas tank igniting, and the whole car going up in flames. We kept wondering if it was someone who'd left the wedding reception before us, if whoever had been in the car had made it out, what could have possibly caused it to burn like that. We'd planned on going to the motel to sleep, but we were both keyed-up, so we went to Pergolesi (which is entirely decorated with disturbing monkey-related art right now) and got drinks, sat in the back room, tried to read and chill out.

Sunday morning was more pleasant than the end of Saturday. We got bagels for breakfast and sat on the deck at Pergolesi for a while, enjoying the fine weather. Marla (who helped me throw the bachelor party) was there, so we chatted with her for a bit. Heather and I did a last wander down Pacific Ave., buying a couple of CDs (Transplants, and the new Streets album), hitting the bookstores, the cookie company, etc. We ran into Scott's parents and said goodbye to them, though we'll almost certainly see them when we go to North Carolina, since they live just down the street from my Dad. Then we drove home, with enough of Sunday left to relax a bit and watch a few episodes of Six Feet Under.

Definitely, overall, a very good weekend indeed.

And on a wholly unrelated note, I have another poem up at Strange Horizons this week, "Making Monsters".

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