Friday, March 31, 2006

Wedding Pictures

How does one put down something so powerful on a piece of paper? How does one bottle an eternal moment? How does one express that which he cannot understand?

All of these questions have been plaguing me for a week. I do not know where to begin and I do not know where to end. The things that are easy to write about – my flight, Hong Kong, Sydney, the beach, the people, the trip, the partying – seem so trivial in the light of why we all traveled thousands of miles to a city more focused on the prowess of the body than on the purity of the soul; and to write about Moshe’s and Chana’s wedding, the reason we’ve all crawled down under, is most difficult.

As something has to be written – lest this paper remain blank – I will attempt to write images, images of those moments that are most difficult to write about – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. So here I go writing pictures.

We drink Glenlivit 18. It is three in the afternoon. Levi, Shloime, Shmuly, Natan, Zalman, Yossi and myself have chosen the end of the table and the whiskey stops here. Little finger-foods compliment all those years of the single malt’s maturation. Some like them young, that is, twelve years old; I myself am not too picky. Moishe sits at the head of the table, looking about as comfortable as the tie around Yossi’s neck. He keeps on glancing in our direction, as if he wishes he were sitting with us, or, maybe, us sitting with him. A song is being sung, and then Moishe gives-over the Mammer. He looks much more relieved.

The Daled Buves is being sung. Moishe stands with his head bowed and a raincoat draped over his shoulders. Chana, veiled, is being guided through the backyard towards the Chupah. They circle seven times. Tears are like the giggle-lube: once you see the first fall there is no stopping them. But then there is Shmuly: if anything gets too serious, he pops his head into the picture, and you cannot help but laugh. Yossi sings Boruch Haba. The blessings are blessed. Zalman, the ring-bearer, hands the ring to the Rabbi. Moishe places the ring on Chana’s finger. Smash!! A glass shatters. Mazzal Tov!!

Finally I get to Moishe. We hug and kiss. That’s it.

We take a bus downtown, to the hotel where the reception is being held. We are early. They set some bottles on a table for us where the pictures are being taken. We are quite inebriated at this point. And it is not yet six o’clock. Finally the waiters come around with trays boasting mini foodstuffs. We, the intoxicated musketeers, stand around a tray until nary a crumb can be found. There are a lot of people, socializing as we wait for the doors to open.

From here on the picture gets hazy, as if the positive negative has been exposed to too much light. Well, what would a wedding be if not for the “too much light”? Sometimes the picture must be sacrificed for the moment’s sake.

Ah, and what a moment it was. In the beginning, before one has lost all inhibition, the dancing can get a bit awkward – where do I put my legs, my arms? Do I just let loose? – But as the ice melts (in the scotch), things start becoming natural: you begin to move in sync with an inner rhythm. Swirling bodies, twisting hips, sweat shooting off faces glowing, hands flying in directions never known before, and my toe is stepped upon. Do I feel it? How can I when all I feel is joy? I dance with Moishe in hug, and, for a “second” time just stops; it’s as if G-d hit pause on the dance floor and only Moishe and I were moving, though like in a dream. It is an amazing thing to be happy, but it is even a more amazing thing to be happy for somebody else. And here we are, both happy for each other: I’m happy for him because he is now complete, no more a mere half-soul; he is happy for me because I am happy for him.

I walk over to Moishe’s and Chana’s table to make a L’chaim to them. He tells me to stop thinking so much. (What do you think he meant?) I tell him I’m not thinking. But the truth is I am thinking: I think about how lucky he is to have found Chana; I think about how lucky I am to have him as a friend; I think about great it is to be here with the guys, just wild; I think about many things. But now that Moishe tells me stop thinking, how can I refuse?

I am on a high. Haven’t slept in thirty-five hours. I’ve drunk too much spirit. Yossi sings a song for Moishe and Chana. I ask him to tell the ten-piece band to play a hip-hop rhythm. This one goes out to Moishe, the hip-hop lover. I’m not sure what a rapped about (except for Ritchie’s Red Sox), and I’m not sure anybody else knew what I was rapping about, but, through the haze of airplane meals, sweat, booze and joy, I can see Moishe smile as I try to find a rhyme for “Witkes”. And that makes it all worth it.

The image is quickly fading into oblivion, and it seems the roll of film is reaching its end. So let me just leave you with this picture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

intresting piece. you are quite talented.
so nice.

3/31/2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger Saad said...

Thank you for developing your film right here before us. You included me in that hug and kiss; whirled me into the center of your joy. And for that I thank you.

Mazal Tov to the reunited souls.

Shabbat of Peace,


3/31/2006 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Yossi said...

WOW!! That was wondeful. Who would think that a week later i would be able to re-live that specail night. Thanks Mendel.

4/01/2006 12:29 PM  
Anonymous ZALMAN AINSWORTH said...


4/02/2006 3:44 AM  
Blogger RebWitNY said...

Beautiful piece!!!
You and the other guys made the Chasunah into the beautiful simchah that it was!

4/02/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Technically speaking there were only 931 words* in the article so in reality you've only presented us with ONE actual picture!

*little Microsoft Word trick!

4/02/2006 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omgd someones bored

4/03/2006 1:13 AM  
Anonymous President of Jakey Fanclub said...

To the very rude anonymous above: Jakey is an incredible writer and all of us fans here encourage him to write us things to read. Atleast hes channeling his creative writing somewhere, and letting other people enjoy it. People people, please. Only positive comments for the Jakeman.

4/03/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger jakeyology said...

the anon was refering to nemo's many fingers and toes. i think. but its good to know i'm not alone in this dark universe.

4/03/2006 6:53 PM  
Anonymous President of the Jakey... said...

Retract my statement. Oopsy. I'm gonna take that as a lesson.

4/03/2006 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey jakey gr8 article it made me relive the wedding!!! and braught many emotions back.youre a gr8 writer!!! hats off

4/04/2006 6:52 AM  
Anonymous shlaime said...

yo call me at the kretch 6-930 are my hours

4/04/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger twilight770 said...

hi jake, its dovi, great artcle. its good to get a little taste of the wedding even though i coudn't make it

4/06/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jakey, relive the wedding, doesn't come close to what you've done. You've brought tears to my eyes, you've brought back all the emotions of that memorable day, and you captured all the right moments. I thank you!! -Moishies cousin-GS

4/10/2006 10:01 AM  
Blogger Rochi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/16/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger Rochi said...

Levi spent hours trying to track down this blog and what can I say it was well worth it. He has tears running down his cheeks from reading your wedding review -and he's not even drunk. So on his behalf, because he can't see through his tears, I want to say thank you and that it was written beautifully, captured the moments so well and he misses all you guys like crazy.

4/17/2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger Dovid said...

mendy, you're still looking great in that crazy hat of yours(?) ;)

4/21/2006 6:53 PM  

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