The setting is a city which is a mix between Seattle, Washington and Ottumwa, Iowa.
Someone I used to work with is getting married.
I am behind the scenes, an outsider that has not been invited, but I have managed to integrate myself within the wedding party.
My friend and former partner Heather C. is also here, which is exciting as I have not seen her in years, and I am thinking, maybe, just maybe, there is a chance we can hook up later.
I live in a what was once upscale apartment complex which is now slightly run-down. I am living in apartment number 666, which is a point of pride for me. I used to live across the hall in apartment 667, which was a slightly nicer apartment, but it cost more and somehow encouraged me to take up a smoking habit. By comparison, apartment 666 is less pretty (water stains on the orange manila envelope colored walls), cheaper, and I am more comfortable there.
The office is consumed with wedding planning and preparations (the comings and goings of the wedding party, the wedding practice dinner, and coordinating walking bike tours for the guests through the city). So much so that actual work is being diverted if not downright missed. An instructional e-mail is circulating from Pete H. about a “sell anything” online method.
I catch a glimpse of Pete’s letter from someone at reception, and recognize the brilliance of it right off the bat. It is a series of templates, where you take a component of list 1 and combine it with a component of list 2 and the proprietary method of bringing these two components together creates a kind of Holy Grail of online marketing that has been proven to sell ANYTHING online, from boats to houses to insurance to any other conceivable internet product. It is really quite incredible.
Through some kind of communication snafu Heather did not get a chance to see Pete’s message before the office wedding eclipsed all work. I want to help get Pete’s e-mail to her but through contractual red tape I am forbidden to contact current company employees, which includes both Pete and Heather. I am confident that I can work out some kind of solution. I have reams of paperwork taking up a corner in my apartment which I keep meaning to parse through in an effort to find a loophole.
There is a scene where the groomsmen and I walk our bikes through fields of freshly cut grass. Clippings rapidly fill up the cuffs of our slacks. I feel my nose clogging up and fight off fits of sneezing. This is part of the preparations for the wedding rehearsal dinner, as there is to be a procession through these grassy fields before and after the ceremony.
I invite Heather over to my apartment for “a movie or tea or something.”
She accepts my invitation and comes over. After seeing the apartment she goes off on the potential of the space and the location. She is full of suggestions as to how I can improve upon the space.
In mid-discussion on curtains instead of doors, I wake up with a sore low back, which lingers on throughout the rest of the day.