Musical Memory: Al Green's Let's Stay Together
Silver Bay, New York. June 23, 2006
I was married to my ex in a little tiny town on Lake George in upstate New York. To give a little perspective on the landscape of the youth culture of Lake George - THE thing for teens/twenties types to do is to occupy a cabin/lake house of choice, and proceed to party, on any given evening.
There were no other social prospects on the eve before my wedding, so cabin party it was.
My ex, myself and most of our wedding party showed up at "the spot" of the evening. Lake George was the ex's territory, and my bridesmaids and I knew very few people there. We settled into a corner to enjoy a quiet beer, when I was approached by a tall, scrawny, young-ish fellow - we'll call him Steve-O.
"I heard that SOMEBODY over here is getting married tomorrow!"
"That's ME!", I said with a smile.
"Hang on, I'll be right back..."
Moments later, Steve-O returned with a boom box, pressed play and turned on Al Green's Let's Stay Together. (I suggest you press play NOW to set the mood for the rest of this post).
This should've been the social cue that alerted me that shit was about to go down, but I am a fucking oblivious human being.
Steve-O stared at me with an intense Blue Steel face and gently took me by the hand and guided me to the center of the room.
I started to giggle - but I still had no idea what was about to happen.
After a slow spin, and a dip, he led me over to a chair. And sat me down.
Then I knew EXACTLY what was about to happen. And it was too late for me to do ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I was TRAPPED!
Clothes started to come off...
Horrifying and hilarious...
Blinded by the whiteness...
By the end of the "show" I was laughing SO hard that I was crying and could not breathe! My bridesmaids, the ex and his best man were all howling on the sidelines. All was well, until the ex came over to shake Steve-O's hand. When it dawned on Steve-O that he had just stripped for a stranger in front of her husband to be, he instantly became mortified, apologized profusely, (which was unnecessary because the ex found the situation HILARIOUS), and disappeared into the crowd.
I never even found out his real name. So to me, he's Steve-O...and whenever I hear the first few bars of Let's Stay Together it instantly makes me chuckle, and remember the sensation of breathtaking, tear squeezing, pure laughter and sharing that moment with people that I loved the most.