Last weekend, I saw one of my greatest friends, ever, get married to a man I had met before only over the phone and that she met while while getting her PhD in St. Louis. I, along with all the other members of the high-school entourage that showed up for the event, approved wholeheartedly of her taste.
There's an amazingly large number of things I could say about Yuki, this friend of mine who tied the knot. For starters, she was the third person I came out to way back the first semester of junior year in High School. I remember the afternoon clearly. Both Yuki and I had been called out of Calculus (with Ms. Bay, the new divorcée) and to the counselor's office to discuss a mutual friend of ours who had just arrived at our school and who, it seemed to his parents and perhaps to some teachers, may have been having difficulties adjusting. In any event, and not to delve too deeply into the story (as I would have to rehash are about two whole years of anguished letters I sent to assorted friends describing all the tribulations associated with it),
Óleo en canvas, 2000
he was the first person I had ever become infatuated of/fallen in love with (still not sure which) , so on our way back to class ( a very short jaunt across a lawn that is now a Middle School building) I really couldn't not mention to Yuki that well, this friend of ours for whom we had been called out of class also happened to have a stranglehold on my consciousness. I still remember her reaction--surprise, but the good kind, the "I want to give you a hug but we're already at the door to Calculus so I can't but think of it anyway" kind of reaction.
I have many other memories of Yuki and all sorts of great pictures that someday I'll scan and put on a CD and send to her. No way of forgetting the horribly tacky musical that I had the misfortune of putting my name to that she, along with a few other virulent band-members, helped rescue out of its misery. Or of setting aside all those National Honor Society cupcakes we baked to raise funds for destitute mothers in Lima's maternity ward. The endless repetitions of The March of the Men of Harlech at six graduations (including our own). Or of the afternoons after school where we just hung out, waiting for the late buses to leave after her softball practices and my terrible attempts at playing baseball or the slightly more honorable ultimate frisbee games. How to set aside the outings at the beach, looking out across onto the Pacific ocean, watching the sunset, then the stars, talking about everything and nothing? Not to forget the fact that when the
Satin, silk, cotton, 2000
prospect that my parents would be leaving Peru for some other country at the end of my Junior year, she and her family offered to host me at their place for the last year. It turned out to be unnecessary, but they did host me for a month after freshman year of college.
Yuki taught me how to use chopsticks and eat sushi.
And as I write this, I realize that I would have to write a whole book on how wonderful Yuki is. And the tears I didn't shed during the wedding are welling up in my eyes (or is it the smoke?).
Now, she's all grown up and married to a great fellow, who carries around him this untouchable but very wide field of comfort force, who seems to know how to make people feel at ease. She deserves only the best, and she may just have found it.
More pictures here for the so-inclined.