Five years ago, my last “good friend” expelled me from his circle, perhaps, because I didn’t deliver an edited product after I recorded his wedding in Coberg, Germany as he wished (albeit at my own expense). Reviewing my experience in Coberg over the long weekend of the wedding and after viewing the footage, there was an inconsistency, I couldn’t find what the story was about, so how could I cut it?
Yes, the subject was the marriage ceremony. And, yes, there it is, there are the guests, there is the bride, the priest, the groom, the little children, parents, in-laws and friends but important material suggesting the relevance of the event wasn’t there and though I understood the nature of the missing material, I felt uncomfortable with telling my friend and his wife why that material wasn’t there, which was this: since I had no relationship with anyone but him, a circumstance that was worsened because the room they gave me was at a hotel some distance from the Slot where other guests stayed with them, there were reasons for feeling left out, not to mention that they all spoke either Romanian or German or I don’t know what. It could have been worse, I suppose, if they’d given me a yellow Mogen David to wear around my arm. The subject I couldn’t find was love.
Moreover, upon my return home, I was distracted by a hornet’s nest of events. My fiancé had gotten pregnant and married her lover, who I suspect wasn’t the child’s biological father; my mother, who I’d been looking after for several years, was poisoned by a doctor, who believed this was appropriate, since she was 99 years old; my business partner corrupted an escrow to steal the proceeds from the sale of our property; my political enemies pursuaded the local newspapers to cancel my weekly editorials; my landlord of many years evicted me. The upsets didn’t stop with these macro events but continued, rivaling those of Don Quixote.
In time, I realized I would need to interview my friend and his wife and then go to Romania and Germany to obtain material I needed but in the midst of dealing with my mother’s things, losing my home and all my money, I was at wit’s end and my friend’s wedding seemed the least of my concerns. Now I feel I was mistaken but had I seen it as I do now, I would have known what I know now. No doubt, this is also true for my friend, who I still hold in high esteem though he disavows his relationship with me.
But the value of this lesson has not escaped me just as Quixote’s experience with the Duke and Duchess changed his life by bringing the hard reality of life without ideals into his heart. Thinking about this led me to an insight into how Cervantes may have fallen into the path that led to his writing the first, best and best-selling novel ever written and who can say?