#459: RAY'S ANNUAL MAUNDY THURSDAY EXTRAVAGANZA (aka WHO LOVES RAY? I DO! I DO!)
Ray has a Maundy Thursday extravaganza every year, and every year I travel to Cosmopolis to take part in the festivities. I am not a huge fan of Easter in particular, but I am a huge fan of Ray, so I wouldn't miss the pastel streamers and bunny-shaped ornaments and egg dyeing for anything. In fact, I brought my luggage along with me without even asking if I could stay over, because I was going to milk the night for all it was worth whether I had permission to or not.
I also brought along my fancy, shmancy new camera to document the event for once, but alas, I became quite inebriated on some Wild Pig merlot, left the camera on manual focus, and forgot how to check any of the other settings. I assure you that the Maundy Thursday party was not nearly as dim or fuzzy as I made it look. Despite my being smashed while taking the following picture, you can still see that Ray is stunning to behold.
Our friend, N, kept pointing at Ray when she was backlit and saying Darth Vader! See?! Here, the resemblance is small, but I kept the most damning pictures to myself.
Ray always stocks up on dyes, wax, and those implement thingies that go with the wax. Maundy Thursday eggs range from the broken and wax-laiden left forgotten in bowls of dye to the bright and artfully designed kept carefully out of the way until they can be properly displayed. The eggs are the stuff of legend, but alas, I was too much of a wino to take more than one decently clear picture of only a few of them. Now you will never see the one with the miniature dancing horses etched into it. I did, and no egg has been able to elicit such an awed response from me since.
I have known Ray since 1986. We weren't really friends for the first two years. We went to the same high school in Cosmopolis for grades nine and ten and then ended up attending the same Mennonite boarding school in a small town. I don't recall how we came to be friends. I remember being acquaintances, and then I remember her being one of my favourite people on the planet. I don't think that there was an intermediate phase. It was kismit.
The next picture shows Ray with her new beau, R. When you love someone as much as I do Ray, it's remarkably satisfying to see another person look at them with such affection. I wanted to wrap them both up in a blanket and take them upstairs where it was quiet and kiss both their foreheads in order to preserve that little ball of warmth that surrounded them.
Typical Ray. Laughing Ray. Fabulous Ray.
Mysterious Ray. Three-in-the-morning Ray. Ray-in-a-blanket.
Thanks for that excellent kick-off to Easter weekend, Ray. Now that I live far away in Cityville, I don't get to see you nearly enough, and I miss you. You always manage to remind me why life is good regardless of the state of the chips. YOU. FREAKING. RAWK.
I have had my dream -- like others --
and it has come to nothing, so that
I remain now carelessly
with feet planted on the ground
and look up at the sky --
feeling my clothes about me,
the weight of my body in my shoes,
the rim of my hat, air passing in and out
at my nose -- and decide to dream no more.