The speech that I mentioned In This Post seems to be of interest to some people.
Killyin and I shared concurrent adolescences in the existential wonderland that is east Marietta, Georgia. A few years ago he called me in the middle of the night, frantic in a way I had never quite heard him. "Tom," he stammered, "I've met this great girl. Well, actually I've known her for a long time but I only just realized... anyway, I need your help to show her how I feel about her."
"Sure," I said. He's one of my best friends, after all, "Anything. What do you need me to do."
"Well, first," he says, "I need you to come bail me out of jail."
Killyin, it seems, had been arrested for operating an industrial X-ray machine without the appropriate veterinary permits. That was all really an excuse, though, the authorities were much more concerned with his alleged involvement in the daring daylight heist of nearly sixteen tons of artificial sweetener and he had been arrested on a trumped up misdemeanor in order to question him and limit his movements.
So, I bailed him out of jail at about one in the morning and, as we drove through the deserted Chicago streets, all I could seem to do was glance at him and repeatedly ask, "An X-Ray machine?"
He didn't comment much on this but after ten or fifteen minutes of my prodding he did turn to me and say, "We need to stop by the shop." Few can understand how this statement filled me with dread. Those of you that know Killyin know that, several years ago he opened a combination homebrew store and topiary gardening academy that most people consistently avoided. I was pleased to find out that by this time he had converted that establishment into a combination tattoo removal studio and Peter Paul & Mary memoribillia emporium, in all a much more pleasant place than it had been.
Now, all jokes aside, I've always been kind of impressed by the postal service. This connects, I promise. They do a pretty good job of delivering millions of packages and letters to all sorts of places under all sorts of conditions. In this case, a good lot of these things had been brought to Killyin's shop. We stepped inside and I found that the entire place was stacked, from floor to ceiling, with post, with bits of mail. There were small envelopes and big envelopes and soft sided envelopes and hard sided envelopes, plain envelopes and fancy envelopes as well as all sorts of boxes from the tiny ones that come with jewelry to the giant ones that might hold a household appliance and no two quite the same size or shape. They absolutely filled up the room, obscuring everything, except the eleven foot high statue of Puff, the magic dragon, that filled one corner and that really did dominate the space.
I only had a moment to take all this in because Killyin led me out onto the enclosed loading dock were I found that he had acquired a brand new, blindingly shiny, fully equipped, four ton purple Hitachi dump truck. He then handed me a box cutter and said, "Let's get to work."
We spent most of the next five hours opening all that post: small envelopes and big envelopes and soft sided envelopes and hard sided envelopes, plain envelopes and fancy envelopes as well as all sorts of boxes from the tiny ones that come with jewelry to the giant ones that might hold a household appliance and no two quite the same size or shape and emptying them into the back of the brand new, blindingly shiny, fully equipped, four ton purple Hitachi dump truck.
And what was in them? Artificial sweetener, hundreds of thousands of single portion packets of artificial sweetener, enough to fill the brand new, blindingly shiny, fully equipped four ton purple Hitachi dump truck just to the top. I stood there for at least five minutes looking back and forth from the contents of the truck to Killyin before I asked, "Are you going to explain any of this too me?"
He simply pointed at the back of the truck and said, "There's no blue."
He was right. The tens of thousands of little paper packets that filled the truck just to the top were all yellow and pink with just a few green ones here and there. There was not a single blue packet among them. This observation forced me to ask, "How do you think that clarifies anything?"
He climbed up into the cab of the big purple dump truck, looked me in the eye and said, "Clean up all the boxes before the police come by, please."
As he cranked the engine I screamed, "What the fuck has any of this got to do with you being in love?"
He looked at me, confidently, with the eyes of someone who's known you for years. He smiled and said, "Love is a many Splenda'd thing and this woman has no Equal."
And with that he drove off into the rising sun, leaving me to clean up all of the postal refuse. Now, I don't know what he did with it and I have never asked. I don't know how one proves one's devotion to a woman with a dump truck full of aspartame but I know that since she's the kind of woman who obviously understood and appreciated it, then they're probably meant for each other.
And so, to the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Killyin, Salud, Nastrovia, Mazel Tov, Brightest Blessings, I love you both.