A Storyby Ann Beattie
When we announced we were getting married, my Aunt Ella said immediately that she couldn’t come. Ella (aka Auntie-Mom) is legendarily afraid of flying after what happened to my parents. Her husband, Bransom, tried to get out of it too; he’d be returning from Hong Kong two days before the wedding. He, though, grudgingly relented, pronouncing the word melatonin with as much enthusiasm as a heroin addict saying methadone. He thought he could get his neighbor to walk Roussillon, the dog. Auntie-Mom’s afraid of walking him at night after getting mugged. Zander’s father, Phil, has shingles creeping over his body like a red tide, so obviously he can’t travel. At present, he’s at home, biting a pillow. Zander’s mother, Dorcas, offered to hire musicians for the reception and even suggested her periodontist’s son’s band: the Pulled Pork Hotheads. Their demo is so chill. There’s some Twitter debate about whether that old lady singer, Nico, is harmonizing on a couple of the Hotheads’ songs. Those threads are endless. Apparently Mick Jagger comes out at night like a bedbug and heads right for recording studios all over the world, to sing backup.