Fraser Medvedik-Horn runs as fast as he can.
It’s every wedding attendees’ worst nightmare. I’m not talking about long speeches though those are interminable, I’m talking about the fact that a wedding is an interesting sort of party. Few others require quite so much poise and form, manners and socially astute etiquette. Most other events you can just basically show up and that’s good enough. Weddings are a performance of friendship and familial duty. It is a Kantian perfect duty: “one ought not spoil a wedding”.
As to whether what just about happened to me could spoil a wedding I’ll let you decide. My opinion is that a wedding should not be too fragile a thing and should be able to sustain a shock or two. After all, that’s what marriage is. A lifetime of stability together permeated by shocks as the world is a crazy, magical place. The funny thing is that though realising and accepting this, it should never be one’s intention to be the shocker.
There I was, leaving my well-provisioned flat in the Newington area of Edinburgh. A bit of a mixed bag of an area. Very studenty but there’s a combined working and middle class feel to many of the permanent residents. The place briefly empties in June and July but then in August it fills again with international tourists and performers, keeping it on the weird end. Suitcase in tow for I was going off to my dear high school friend’s wedding, which promised to be an interesting affair. Inside the suitcase was everything I needed, pair of pants, pair of socks, wife’s dress, so I felt well-ordered. Google maps said the best route was from the local bus stop, barely used but every now and then essential.
Then I saw the bus, stuck behind a red light. Darting across the road, suitcase off wheels, babe in arms style, I bolted past the Meadows, side stepping onto a grassy verge to avoid poking into some walkers like a javelin. I avoided some cyclists on the cycle path, rounded the corner and kept pelting after it only for it to pull away.
Shrugging breathlessly, I scoured other options and found them plentiful as sharks surrounding a wounded diver in an area infested with sharks. Gotta love the logistics of the area. After a short walk I was at another stop and all aboard for Edinburgh bus station.
Edinburgh buses are normally quite alright, bad at rush times and occasionally hot but overall okay. Cheaper than most UK buses. The drivers are sound as well. During the Festival though, they are best avoided unless necessary for time or luggage reasons as they are a ring of hell. Imagine a sauna in a swamp which is full of people. Perhaps Venice in high Summer during aqua alta after a cruise ship has dropped its waste into the lagoon. Here I was in an Edinburgh bus in the Festival and at rush hour, carrying a suitcase. Kind of like Charlie Chaplin crossed with a scruffy semi-trendy kid from 2008, wearing a T-shirt that’s 10 years old in a charitable interpretation.
While juggling to avoid knocking into a deaf man, a Muslim mother and a father holding a pram, I realised something.
This ain’t so bad.
I’ve done way worse than this. I’ve moved house using suitcases before, moved country even. Taking one on a couple buses was a snap. So why didn’t it feel right?
I was missing the weight of my right-hand. The deceitfully heavy object I had to carry to uphold my duty to the wedding, my most elementary duty.
That other perfect duty at a wedding: “Look good in pictures”.
I had forgotten my suit.
I felt like such a fuckup. Who forgets to bring a suit to a wedding? Do they even let suitless people in weddings, even these days?
I cursed myself. My moronic memory, I briefly blamed it on the brain damage, but then got into problem fixing mode.
Problem, what problem?
These things I did except there was no taxi forthcoming and instead I had to grab another bus, Lothian Bus do quite well in this story. While on the bus I called a taxi and arranged for it to meet me outside my flat after I’d got my suit.
The guy arrived at just the right time and his swift piloting got me like Cinderella to the bus station on time. Problem solved, albeit at a heightened monetary cost.
There may be some wondering what’s the point of this story. Indeed, it’s mostly just another story of me acting like a bit of a tit. It is a necessary story however as everyone is trying to tell their personal brand story of how they are fantastic all the time and I would prefer something more authentic. Sometimes I am imperfect. I forget things which a lot of other people wouldn’t. Then again, I also work harder to fix things than many others would and I am more open about my daily struggles than most.
And, fellow mortals, can I tell you: the things I would do for love.
The writer of this piece would like to clarify there’s actually boundaries to what he would do for love because that pure self-sacrificing nonsense that plagues many and used to plague him is probably not treating the objects of your love in an appropriate way. Instead, it’s a kind of martyred love of the self – sacrificing the self on the altar of the self, to the self. And now he’s sure he’s ruining his format so is going to stop.