6.14 – The Reception

After The Ceremony The Ants demanded we all get in a big line to congratulate Wolf&Lamb.  It went slowly, and I hadta listen to the Adults next to me talk about The Wedding.

“I don’t really know The Bride or The Groom” an Adult said, “but it was nice.”

“What’s Wolfy’s boy do again?” an Adult asked another Adult.

“I dunno,” they said. “I think he’s a Traveling Realtor. Is that a thing?”

“I think they both do drugs,” another Adult said.

“No, no,” another Adult said, “they’re good kids.”

I was too frozen to tell them what Wolf&Lamb were really about and just hadta pretend I didn’t have ears for awhile.

When you got to the front of the line The Ants gave you a few seconds to say something before they pushed you away and the next Reality went.  Wolf&Lamb looked bad.  Their bodies were stiff, their faces were gray, and their eyes just stared out.  It seemed like it might be the first stages of Traveler Vertigo.

“Are you guys getting your ass kicked,too?”  I cut to the chase, “I keep getting too frozen to do the New Reality Sequence, and I haven’t MeToo’d anyone yet.”

“Hurry up,” an Ant interrupted. “It’s a long line.”

“Just shake my hand and say,congratulations,” Wolf told me.

I did what he said, and then he pulled me close and whispered, ”Traveler Lubricant… Lots of it… Now shake Lamb’s hand and congratulate her,too.”

I did what he said and then Lamb pulled me in and whispered, “There’s an Open Bar, all free.”

“Where?  How?” I asked.

But before she could answer a Soldier came to grab my arm.  I didn’t want my arm grabbed again so I dodged it and then hadta just run away.

I kept going until I got to the tent.  It wasn’t like a camping tent.  It was more like a building with thin plastic walls and windows, and it was big enough to hold all of the Realities of The Wedding inside.  There was another long line in there leading to a table with some kinda Bartender Ant who was surrounded by bottles of Alcohol.  “Ah,” I said and got in.

“You supposta be in this line?” an Adult next to me said.

I didn’t say anything.

“Where are your parents?”

“My parents?”

“Yeah, do they know you’re in this line?”

“I’m not a kid,” I said.

“Well, you don’t look like an Adult,” they said.

Then I hadta point my head down and stare at the ground so they wouldn’t say anything else to me.

“What do you want?” The Bartender said when I got to the front.  “It’s all free.”

“Great!” I said.  “I want an entire bottle of Jack Daniels and an entire 2 liter of Dr. Pepper.”

The Bartender laughed, and when he made the drink, there was only a little of both poured in a tiny paper cup.

“Have to make sure there’s enough for everyone,” he said.

“Oh,” I said.

I looked around and everyone only had a tiny paper cup, even Adults like Old Wolfy and his SalesMen friends.  You’d see them drink it down in one gulp and then hafta get right back at the end of the line for another.  The line looked so long you figured your first small drop of Lubricant would probably wear off before you got the next one.  I realized I’d be in the lowest magnitude of Alcohol Perception the whole rest of The Wedding.  I drank my drink in one gulp even tho I knew I’d still have some squeaky tight mind machinery anyway.

Inside the tent there was a big dance floor with lots of tables around, which had namecards by each chair.  It looked like they were organized by Reality Groups, like Lamb’s Distant Cousins’ Realities or Wolf’s Distant Cousins’ Realities.  One table was higher up than the other tables and all of its namecards were in fancy gold writing.  Bride and Groom, Bride and Groom’s parents, Best Man and Wife, Maid of Honor and Date, Usher – The Important Wedding Realities.

Then I found my namecard at some kinda Miscellaneous Realities table.  I’d never heard the names before, and neither had anyone else there.  Soon everyone sat down there to eat and hadta start asking each other questions.  Like WolforLamb?  Name?  Hometown?  Job?  And marriage status?  I didn’t answer any of them.  I just sat there frozen waiting for the music to come on.

Then The Important Wedding Realities got to make speeches.  An Ant came around with a microphone and handed it to each one of them, and they said what they thought The Wedding was about.  Some were heartfelt like Lamb’s Dad.

“The Wedding is about my daughter being happy,” he said,“and that’s all a dad wants.”

Some were shy like Scorpion.

“The Wedding is about…” he said, “um, I don’t know…  Congratulations I guess.”

And some were a RockStar like Emperor Penguin.

“The Wedding is about everyone here being Great,” he said.  “I don’t really know Lamb, but I’ve known Wolf since HighSchool. And I know he only chooses to be around Great Realities.  Like me (pause for laughter).  And that means Lamb must be a great Reality, and if you’re at this Wedding you’re a Great Reality, too.”

It was a cheap MeToo, but it worked, and everyone laughed and felt good cuz they felt like they were a Great Reality.  It only made me wanna make my own speech, maybe about the first time me and Wolf&Lamb went to Karaoke and how they meant a lot to me.

Then Ant passed the microphone to another Ant who was set up at a table on the side with a bunch of music.

“Now it’s time for The First Dance,” a DJ Ant said.

“Yes!” I said.  “Finally.”

And then Wolf&Lamb got to get up and go to the middle of the dancefloor, while everyone stood up around them and watched. The DJ started playing Coldplay’s “Sparks,” and Wolf&Lamb got close together and slow danced.  I was just about to tell everyone I was the only one there who was actually around when they chose the song.  Realities around me started whispering tho.

“I’ve never heard of this song,” an Adult said.

“Me neither” another one said.  “Who is this?”

“Is this Dave Matthews Band?”

Dave Matthews Band is a band about Dave Matthews’s high but unpowerful voice.

“No, it’s John Mayer.”

John Mayer is a musician all about John Mayer’s high but unpowerful voice.

Finally Emperor Penguin stepped in.

“Pfft,” he said.  “You’re all wrong. This is Coldplay.”

And the “Pfft” was a horrible sound that was maybe even worse than “tsst” or “eh,” and it made it seem like Coldplay didn’t deserve to make music ever.

“Oh,” everyone said.

And they all rolled their eyes and shook their heads and went “pfft,” too.  And I couldn’t find anyone who looked like they would MeToo liking it.

When the song was over, the DJ told everyone they could come on the dancefloor now. And then, to make matters the worst they could possibly be, he put on That One “Hot, Hot, Hot,”Song…

6.1 – Track #18 of The Great Trip Mix – Coldplay “Sparks”

One day I came over to The Den, and Wolf&Lamb were very excited.

“We’ve just picked the song for The First Dance,” Wolf said.

“What’s The First Dance?” I asked.

“The most important song of The Wedding,” Lamb said. “It’s the first time Wolf and I will dance as married Realities. They’ll play a song, and we’ll be the only ones on the dancefloor. Everyone will watch us, and they can’t start dancing themselves until the next song.”

“It’s supposed to be something slow and romantic,” Wolf said. “And also something that perfectly represents our Love.”

“We picked Coldplay’s ‘Sparks,’” Lamb said.

“Sparks” is a song about the bright little flying embers that occur during an intense physical reaction like someone welding metal, a car bottoming out on pavement, a tree branch falling on a power line, or two Realities falling in Love.

I liked Coldplay. Their lead singer Chris Martin did not have a powerful voice, but it was high and still capable of giving you The Chills.

“To fully explain,” Wolf said, “We have to tell you The Story of How We Met.”

“Alright!” I said.

Then we got comfortable, and Wolf made some Jack Daniels and Dr. Pepper cocktails. Lamb even came up with the idea of adding maraschino cherries, so it would be like a sweet prize at the end of the drink. It was very good. Then Wolf began The Story…

“You may be thinking that in order to fall in Love you have to MeToo about every single thing, but, as you may notice, the two of us may as well be different species. You’d expect, since I’m so Wolf-like and Lamb is so baby-sheep like, that I would’ve only hunted her down in the night, pulled her from the flock with my canine teeth, and MeNotted her with my digestive tract. And actually at first I was searching for no animal but another daring and ferocious Canis Lupis, a SoulTwin who shared a 100% MeToo Overlap.”

“I thought the same thing,” Lamb said. “I just assumed I’d end up with a hardy, horn-bashing ram-boy.”

“I was at The Perceptionist Training School in TheWoods of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said, “going on intense Adventures assigned by the esteemed Perceptionism Professor. He would take us, as he would say, “Down The Rabbithole” to the frontiers of Perception and The Other World. I assumed I would fall in Love in there, but only a rare breed of Traveler was Called to do it. There were not many of us, and the pool of available mating options was quite small. I soon had to turn to the nearby Pennsylvania Future Adult Training School, where there were considerably better odds of meeting someone. I’d always enjoyed reading, especially the Great Perceptionist authors, such as Aldous Huxley, William S Burroughs, and Hunter S Thompson, so I enrolled in a literature course at the college.”

“I was going to PFATS because I thought I wanted to be an Adult at first,” Lamb said. “I mean that’s what everyone tells you you’re supposed to be, right? I ended up in the same literature class as Wolf because I always liked reading, too. I’d never heard of any of his favorite authors tho. My favorites were Mother Goose and the Bible.”

“I found her innocence and adorable looks very attractive right away.”

“I found his experience and intense hunting eyes attractive right away.”

“But I doubted there was even a 10% Overlap between us, so I continued looking elsewhere.”

“And I thought there was no way someone like Wolf would be interested in me.”

“I turned my attention to the PFATS party scene, and made it known to the right Realities that I had access to wild new Perceptions which could obliterate their inhibitions. It became easy to meet women after that, but they were all into Perceptionism for superficial reasons, and I would hide my Reality Travel Calling so it would appear as if we had more of a MeToo Overlap. Sometimes I’d outright lie and tell them I was a full time PFATS Student. I ended up dating several of them, but it was never satisfying, and none of them ever felt close to being my SoulMate.”

“And I would date boys who were too much like me. They were religious, polite, and well on their way to becoming Adults. But all the MeTooing was actually boring me, and I wanted to meet someone different for once.”

“Meanwhile in literature class, despite our differences, I couldn’t draw my attention away from Lamb. I felt strong urges to be near her soft wool and nuzzle it like a blanket. Eventually those urges overcame my fears.”

“Then one day Wolf asked me out, and I couldn’t believe it. I thought, why would someone like that like me?”

“Remarkably, she agreed. And at once I began worrying Lamb would MeNot everything about me. Yet, I was also fed up with not Being My Own Reality. I realized it was absurd to try and trick someone into being my SoulMate and decided not to lie or hold anything back this time. So I invited her to my favorite off-campus dive bar.”

“Not only had I never been in a bar before, but I’d never even been in Alcohol Perception.”

“When I found that out, I was even more terrified of a MeNotzie reaction, but I knew I had to continue with the Being My Own Reality experiment.”

“He ordered a martini and I ordered a Coke.”

“And I flat out told her, ‘I’m a ShaMan Reality Traveler who MeToos via Perceptionism.’”

“I had no idea what that meant.”

“So then I just explained everything to her. The Perceptions, MeTooing, and The Gods. And to my surprise, she did not run away or argue with me or stare at me in confusion.”

“I was thrilled by all these concepts and terminology I’d never heard before.”

“And then she said, ‘Thank you for being so honest.’”

“And then I reached out and grabbed his hand.”

“And then something happened. A surge of energy built up in the center of my chest and in an instant shot out to all parts of my body. It went thru my shoulders and down my arms, and when it reached my hands and fingers it leapt out in a spark. I truly mean that a small ember of light was created when we touched. It was overwhelming and forced us both to retract. Then when we summoned the courage to reach out and touch again, the same thing happened.”

“Sparks.”

“You may doubt me on this and think it was just a lingering effect from some recent Adventure in Perception.”

“But I was in Sober Perception the whole time, and I felt the exact same surge from my chest to my fingertips and witnessed the exact same electricity.”

“It’s left us both with a mysterious but non-negotiable trust in each other. As if from that point on, whatever force caused that spark would guide us no matter how much we MeToo’d or not.”

“We’ve been together ever since, and there have been a lot of MeToos.”

“I am certain we are SoulMates and have full confidence in my decision to marry her. And that, my friend, is why the song must be Coldplay’s ‘Sparks.’”