6.11 – Emperor Penguin

Old Wolfy then introduced me to The Great List of Wedding Realities…

Old Wolfy
Wolf’s Mother, SheWolfy
Wolf’s Sister
Wolf’s Sister’s Fiancee
Uncle White Fang
Aunt Fullmoon
Cousin The Nothing
Cousin The Nothing’s Date
Peter
Peter’s Date
Girl In Little Red Hoodie
Girl In Little Red Hoodie’s Grandmother
Girl In Little Red Hoodie’s Grandmother’s Date
Didn’t Make An Impression
Didn’t Make An Impression’s Date
Lamb’s Dad, Ram
Lamb’s Mom, Ewe
Lamb’s Younger Sister
Lamb’s Younger Sister’s Date
Lamb’s Youngest Sister
Lamb’s Youngest Sister’s Date
Uncle Bighorn
Aunt Bo Peep
Cousin Blacksheep
Cousin Blacksheep’s Date
Mary
Mary’s Date
So (Male)
So (Female)
Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey’s Date
Someone Else I Can’t Remember
Someone Else I Can’t Remember’s Date
The Perceptionism Professor
The Perceptionism Professor’s Date
Scorpion, The Best Man
Scorpion, The Best Man’s Wife
Emperor Penguin

He introduced me to each one as The Guy Who Drove All The Way From Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains. They’d say something like, “How bout that.” Then I’d get too frozen to shake their hand or ask them any questions, and they’d get uncomfortable and turn away unMeToo’d. Old Wolfy would give me a strange look like, “You’re supposta be a Reality Traveler, right?” and then he’d just push me ahead to the next Reality.

The last Reality I was introduced to was a younger guy who had the best looking tuxedo of anyone there. It was a good shiny black, but most importantly it had a golden bowtie that was so shiny it looked like it was made of actual sun. When we got to him he was in the middle of tickling a pretty girl who was laughing very hard. He was so cool and comfortable it was like he tickled someone while wearing a Tuxedo every single day of his life.

“This is Emperor Penguin,” Old Wolfy said. “He’s The Usher.”

Some Realities at The Wedding were so important they were given titles and tasks like helping Realities find their seats during the ceremony. I’d heard about The Usher before. He was Wolf’s best friend in HighSchool, and he was supposta be some kind of Musicman Traveler who MeToo’d via being a RockStar.

Old Wolfy interrupted the tickling and got his attention.

“I’d like to introduce you to The Guy Who Drove All The Way From Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains,” he said.

Emperor Penguin looked me up and down.

“Who are you?” he said. “The Prom Chaperone?”

The Prom Chaperone is an Adult about monitoring kids at a school dance. At the dance the kids dress in their finest clothes to impress each other, but The Chaperone doesn’t care about impressing kids and wears something in between their regular clothes and their finest clothes.

I didn’t like Emperor Penguin’s question and didn’t answer it. I waited for him to say “I’m just fucking with you,” but strangely he never said it. He just laughed and turned away and started tickling the pretty girl again.

“Stop, haha” she laughed and didn’t try to get away.

“I guess he’s hitting it off with Lamb’s sister,” Old Wolfy said.

“I guess so,” I said.

“What can you say? He’s a RockStar.”

But I’m the RockStar, I thought to myself.

6.10 – Introductions

I could feel a coldness starting at my furthest body parts and working its way in until I was a completely frozen statue in the middle of the crowd of Adults. They were all in the middle of their own private conversations and had their backs turned to me. Sometimes one would accidentally look over their shoulder, notice my Uniform, and make a face before going back to their conversation. I was thinking about finding a hideout, somewhere I could see all the Realities of The Wedding, but they couldn’t see me, and I could learn all about them from afar and only come out to MeToo when it was a sure thing.

Then suddenly another hand grabbed my shoulder from behind.

“Let go, you Planner Ant!” I almost said, but when I turned around I noticed it was actually one of the Adults. He was wearing a tuxedo like everyone else, and he had gray hair, and intense hunting eyes.

“You alright?” the grabber asked.

I didn’t know how to answer, so I just stood there frozen.

“Hey,” he said, “you’re the guy who drove all the way from Where-ThePlains-Meets-TheMoutains, aren’t you?”

I nodded.

“Wow,” he said, “I heard about you from Wolf&Lamb. Man, that is some Traveling! Let me shake your hand.”

Then we shook hands, and his grip was so hard you couldn’t get out of it even if you wanted to.

“I’m Old Wolfy,” he said. “Wolf’s father.”

I’d heard about Old Wolfy from Wolf. He was a Salesman Traveler who MeToo’d via products. He would Travel up and down The East Coast selling the products to New Realities and hadta become an expert in things like handshakes, looking you in the eye, and handing out business cards.

He handed me his card, and it was bright white and made of a firm material. It said “Old Wolfy – Sales” on it with his contact info and a little Wolf logo in the corner. It made me think of my Bluebird sticker, which I realized was still stuck to the inside of my jean jacket.

“That’s a nice coat you got there,” Old Wolfy said and pinched the collar. “What is that? Tweed?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Isn’t it a bit warm tho? It’s the end of May for crying out loud.”

I hadn’t realized it til he said something because I felt so frozen inside, but the sun was really bright that day, and it was warm. I was already sweating a lot. I looked around at all the Adults, and they all knew what time of year to wear what fabrics.

“Don’t worry about it,” Old Wolfy said and gave me a pat. “Ya look great.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“So is your date around here somewhere?”

“I don’t have one.”

He looked confused.

“Ya mean you’re here all alone?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, why didn’t you say so? Let me introduce you to some people.”

“That’s alright, you don’t have to.”

“Oh, I know, as a Reality Traveler you probably meet a hundred New Realities every day, right?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Well, why don’t I get you a head start anyway?” he said. “It’ll make me feel like a good host. Come on.”

“Alright.”

Then he put his hand against my back and pushed me forward at an unnaturally fast SalesMan pace.