Discover more from Tony Zentelis
Field Notes - Beauty, Wedding Weekends, Full Tilt, etc.
There comes a point in time when the returns on an increasing amount of alcoholic beverages becomes diminishing, and I had long passed that checkpoint in the night. So as I sipped my final tequila soda, my mind searched deep in the archives for a valid excuse to execute on my insider information and finish the job that had been written in the stars some time ago. But nothing clever surfaced - I could only muster seven words:
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
There was no turning back at this point. The groundwork had been laid, concrete had been poured, walls erected, utilities installed, interior decorated - all I needed to do was pick up the key and twist the doorknob. So I delivered my line.
She smiled at me, nodded, and slurped down the rest of her well drink. We headed to the elevator. I was too inebriated to appreciate the glorious views from the rooftop bar, and my God was it a beautiful night in the city. In fact, the entire weekend had been a marvelous display of the beauty that radiates from the aura of a close friend’s wedding. Two people I grew close to throughout my four years at university; two people who were perfect for each other, and I do not mean that in a cliche way. Love was in the air the entire weekend. Well, for me, it was lust, but what is the difference?
As soon as those elevator doors closed and we began our descent, I was thrown into the back wall by her and [redacted].
Ding. The doors open, and we began our short walk back to the hotel where I was staying, which is also where the aforementioned groundwork was laid. We chatted about our friends and life and future plans. She’s moving to another city in a few months, and I tell her I might do the same. But for now, we both are holding down the fort in the great city of Columbus; one that became an adopted home for her and I and our entire friend group. But plans and premonitions can be put on hold for now.
In a strange, twisted way, we too were walking down an aisle, stumbling from the revolving doors to the elevator as the night hotel staff looked at us with humor and shame. The lights in the lobby were bright, and we were both glowing, both internally and externally. I had made my peace.
Ding, the elevator doors open, and I hit the 12 button. We [redacted].
Fumbling with my room key. Lights on, no one’s home.
A beautiful array of dress clothes scattered on the disgusting carpet of my hotel room. Green dress, gray suit, blue tie, and a bouquet of flowers. I see her the next morning at brunch, and we smile at each other at the coffee station. Her phone number is discovered in my device, and I ask her a simple, million dollar question: can I hit you up when we’re both back in Columbus? That sounds fun.
(It has become clear to me at this point that memories from just a few nights ago have faded into the abyss. Perhaps they will emerge at a later date, pressing their way to the surface of my mind as I reflect on my poor (or wise) decisions the past few days. But for now, this is the best I can do, as I pen this stream of consciousness with little room to think or process grand ideas and philosophical musings.)
Life as a hopeless romantic is complicated, confusing, and outright depressing at times, but I would have it no other way. If everything is beautiful, then nothing is beautiful, and there is great liberation in that concept. Growing a fond attachment and interest in a bridesmaid/one-night stand is how I envisioned it all happening before I even muttered those fateful seven words mentioned above, and yet I still marched onward, because there is nothing more beautiful in this great life of ours than enigmas. Finding yourself in the middle of the woods with no map nor any knowledge of the territory is both terrifying and exhilarating. But thrusting one’s self into these situations is the only thing I know how to do. Whether it be a love triangle, a myriad of full time endeavors, a gambling habit, or an earnest and honest attempt to become a renowned wordsmith; it does not matter what I do, because I will find beauty in it all, win or lose, profit or loss, triumph or heartbreak. It is why I felt nervous butterflies bouncing around in my stomach as one of my best friend recited his vows on the altar of that stunning cathedral. Why I had to hold back tears as his bride to be was escorted down the aisle by her father in that stupefying white dress. Why there was a wide smile on my face as I generously donated half a paycheck to the blackjack table on the second floor of the casino. And why I will be sending an ill-fated yet optimistic text to a girl in a green dress who caught my eye, despite already having captured the feelings of another young woman. It is all an opportunity to learn and experience and feel and fail. It is all beauty. Everything is rose-colored, even if those glasses might be cracked or foggy at times.
One day, I dream of reaching a point where I will be able to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate the simpler things in life, like the old man at the cafe does as he people watches over his steamy cup of espresso on a sleepy weekend afternoon. I hope to one day not mutter the phrase “let’s get the fuck out of here”, and instead say, “you know what, let’s stay for a bit, enjoy the twinkling stars in the bludgeoning black night sky, the sounds of the city, the views, the atmosphere of the rooftop bar, the feeling of love and lust in the air”.
But for now, full tilt.
“I've seen the world, done it all, had my cake now
Diamonds, brilliant, and Bel Air now
Hot summer nights, mid-July
When you and I were forever wild”
-From the song Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey