Home » A Wasted Life » A Wedding And Just A “Fucking Firefighter”

A Wedding And Just A “Fucking Firefighter”

J*** hadn’t met T**s’ parents or the rest of his family so B***** wanted us to come over and have a cook-out.  I told her we would but when the day came, J*** didn’t want to go.  He said “I don’t want to meet those people.”  I called her and told her we weren’t coming and it really hurt her feelings.  She started crying and of course, that hurt my feelings.  I told J*** she was disappointed so we decided to go.  I called her again and T** answered her phone.  He told me not to come and he had plenty more to say to me.  I didn’t tell him what J*** had said or that it was him that didn’t want to “meet those people.”
We didn’t go.
We all met at K**** and E*s’ house later that week and I told her that I would never break a promise to her again.  I asked her if she knew how valuable it was to have a man who was willing to proverbially “beat the shit” out of her mama because she had hurt her?  I said it right in front of J***.  B***** cried and hugged me.  J*** sat there like the stump he had always been.
B***** and T** continued to plan their wedding.  It was going to be in K** L****.  She wanted me to make my dress and J***s’ shirt and we went to pick out the fabric.  His shirt turned out great but my dress…..well, I could have gotten almost the entire wedding party in it.  It had been years since I had made clothes for myself and I misjudged my size.  I don’t know what I was thinking…..I probably wasn’t.
I went with her to pick out her dress and I had been given specific instructions from T** about how it should fit.
It was a horrible experience for her…..because of me.  I couldn’t act excited.  I couldn’t bear the fact that this wonderful daughter of mine was so happy and I was terrified that some day, what she thought was an idyllic marriage would end like mine.
I liked T** and I thought he was an honorable man but I had thought the same thing about J***.
She wanted me to “give her away” with J***.  I didn’t want to and she thought I was being mean.  I didn’t want to give her away.  I wanted to keep her.
B***** had invited my sister and her boyfriend and they stayed at my house until we made the drive to K** L****.  J*** was going to be staying there, too, like he always did.
When he got there, he literally looked like Albert Einstein.  I had been his barber for thirty years until one day I decided that I wasn’t going to take his mistreatment anymore.  For most of those thirty years, I heard “don’t cut my fucking ear off.  Don’t poke my fucking eye out.”  When he finally found a job, he needed a haircut.  I was cutting it and it was the same thing.  “Don’t poke my fucking eye out.”  I finished cutting his hair and put the scissors down.  I told him I was never cutting his hair again.
After we all mentioned his hair, he actually skirted around the idea of me cutting it and I reminded him of what I had said.
My sister sat there and said “why don’t you cut it for him?”  I told her that I had told him that I was never going to cut it again.  She said “oh, just do it this one time.”  I kept my word and did not cut his hair.
K**** had found a big house for us to rent in K** L****.  It was a pretty big crew…..me, J***, K****, E*, L****** (E*s’ mom), N**** and her son.  It was June, and the mosquitoes were the size of mountain goats and numbered in the millions.  Everybody had their own room but me.  I slept on the sofa in the living room.
There was a fishing pier behind the house.  I had never caught a fish in my life but I tried.  J*** and I were out fishing and I thought I had caught “the big one.”  I worked and worked.  J*** had been drinking of course, but he tried to help me.  I broke the fishing rod.  It turns out that I had caught the pier.  It was E*s’ rod but he said he didn’t mind because it had belonged to his ex-wife.  I never did catch a fish.
The big day was coming up and the bridesmaids were staying at a hotel.
E*, N**** and J*** were out on the pier drinking.  I, of course was inside.  J*** was talking to E* about K****.
He said “K**** is brilliant and she could have been anything she wanted to be………but she’s just a FUCKING FIREFIGHTER.”
How could he say that about his daughter?  How could he say that about these gentle heroes?
After J***s’ remark, E* just said “I’m out of here” and went back in the house.
I wish E* had said “if your house is ever on fire or you think you’re having a heart attack, call a fucking newspaper editor and let’s see how that goes.”
Was I was just a “fucking EMT?”  Was I only valuable when I could give him information when he had a question or when he needed to be taken care of after hernia surgery?  I questioned that but I had forgotten that J*** had declared himself to be “God.”  He was supreme and we were inadequate disappointments.
Unlike J***, I understood that there were three indisputable facts.  There is a God, I wasn’t Him and neither was J***.
N**** tried to get J*** to go in.  He kept drinking and was getting more and more offensive.  N**** called K****.
K**** had to drive all the way over to the house to tell J*** he needed to go to bed.
She got him in and I heard him say “watch this.”  He came up the stairs and first dropped his beer can.  The steps were tile so it clanged all the way down. The sofa I was on was right in front of the rails.  He came over and started poking me in the back.  He knew that if I was asleep and he woke me up, I would be up for the rest of the night.  Luckily, I wasn’t asleep.  Why would he deliberately poke me in the back?  Why would he want me to be up all night?  Why would he do that to me?  Why did he have such little regard for me?
It was the same cycle.  He was mad at me because I was mad at him and I was mad at him because I couldn’t stand the way he acted when he drank and he just kept drinking.  I hated it and I was beginning to hate him.
The wedding day came and it was raining.  That put a chink in the armor but it’s supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day.
The vows were spoken and it was time for eating, socializing and of course, drinking.  J*** was never without a bottle of beer in his hand after the ceremony.
N**** wanted to dance and drink so I was watching her son, I****.  He was miserable and so was I.  He kept squirming and crying and slamming his head against my chest.
J*** eventually wandered over and asked me how I was doing.  I told him I was miserable.  He curled up his lip, showed all of his teeth like a rabid dog and literally screamed “WELL, PUT HIM DOWN!”  I lost it and said “fuck you.”
E* heard us and came over and got I****.  I got up and went outside for a minute.  Not ten seconds later, J*** walked out and said “it was a nice wedding, wasn’t it?”  I guess he had already forgotten that he had just screamed at me in front of everybody and figured I had forgotten it as well.  Did it ever occur to him that I**** was HIS grandson, too?  Did it ever occur to him that it wasn’t just my job to entertain him?  My cousins had taken their turn and so had some of T**s’ family members.  Was drinking so much more important than helping me or actually paying attention to I****?  Grandchildren were going to be no different from children.  J*** was always going to do what he wanted to do.  Why not?  I was there.  I had always been there.
B***** had a picture of her and T** made and framed.  She gave one to each of us and I immediately hung mine over my fireplace.  J*** left his behind.  He saw that picture every time he came to my house.  Did he never think, “where’s mine?”  Maybe it wasn’t important to him….after all,  B***** and T** were “just fucking firefighters”, too.
It stayed in my house for three years until I physically took it to him.
If it had been a picture of his precious mama and daddy, I dare say he would have never left it behind.

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