Ed and Hank
Me and Mr. Smith-Jones...
Catch-up: A couple of months ago Ed, (yes, Ed),suggested he and Hank change their last names legal-like to the same name since they can't get legally married in their state, and perhaps never will be able to in their lifetime because they live in Utah and they know the politicians here will fight to the bitter end to keep them from having the same rights as everybody else has. That post is here: http://myeyesaintblue.livejournal.com/80685.html (But, as usual, you don't have to read it to read this one)
Disclaimer: Hank told their story to Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis are all hers. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Rating: G $$: Nope.
Links to all previous posts are here:
Me and Mr. Smith-Jones...
Clangclangclang clangclang clangclangclang...
"Wha' the hell is that...?"
"Betcha they tied tin cans ta the truck..."
"Dammit... No wonder they had tha' 'special' parkin' spot reserved fer us... So's we wouldn' see the back a the truck 'fore we drove off..."
Let's give 'em their fun, Ed... Jus' wait 'til we're outta sight 'n pull over... then I'll cut 'em free..."
A couple of minutes later...
"There... that's taken care of..."
"Why the hell didya throw 'em in the back a the truck, Hank...?"
"Recyclin'. 'N if'n I'd a jus' left 'em there it woulda been litterin'."
"Didn't think a tha'... So's... I s'pose there's a sign too..."
"Yep. Said 'Congratulations Mr. & Mr. Smith-Jones!'"
"Ya took it down, didn't ya...?"
"Don't get yer chaps in a twist, Ed... I'll take it off tomorrow mornin'... But I'm sure as hell gonna save it... Maybe hang it up over the fireplace fer a while even..."
"You do tha'."
"Damn... Tha' were some day."
"You sure you didn't have nothin' ta do with it, Hank...?"
"If'n I've told ya once I've told ya three hund'erd 'n fifty-seven times... I. Didn't. Have. Nothin'. Ta do with it. I were just as s'prised as you..."
"Couldn' be surer. 'N make tha' three hund'erd 'n fify-eight."
"Then I got one helluva bone ta pick with Bill."
"You damn well better not say nothin' but 'thank you very much' ta Bill... Hell... He got together with Betty ta plan that whole thing... 'N tha' couldna been easy fer him... bein' split up with her 'n all..."
"Guess that explains why we saw him 'n Betty together tha' time... 'N why he were so close-lipped about it..."
"Guess so... But... they sure looked purty damn friendly-like with each other tonigh'..."
"Tha' they did."
"Hell... I wouldn' be half-sprised if'n they got back together."
"Sure hope so."
"Yeah. Me too. Hey... Maybe it were just all the ranch stuff 'n house buildin' stuff tha' she were balkin' at... 'n not at Bill in particular..."
"How do we tell 'em we don't give a hoot 'bout all that if'n it means they get back together...?"
"Somehow I'm purty sure you'll figure out a way."
"Sure were nice a them ta plan all tha' though..."
"Still got a bone ta pick with Bill... He knows I don't go in fer all tha'... "
"Cut it out, Ed... Him 'n Betty even got Iris ta fly here ta s'prise us... 'n they planned tha' whole name changin' party fer us... hell... it were like a regular weddin' party... maybe the closest thing we'll ever get... complete with music... 'n people bringin' food... 'n even one a them big ol' stacked up cakes with our new name on it..."
"Bet tha' were Betty's idea."
"You ain't complainin' about cake, are ya...? Ya know she made tha' cake herself..."
"I sure as hell ain't. Cake is right up there with pie."
"Damn well better not be... 'N ya might as well admit it... 'cause I saw ya... you had FUN..."
"I ain't admittin' nothin'."
"Hell... Ya only turned a moderate shade a red when they clinked them beer bottles together fer us ta kiss each other... 'n by the time they clinked 'em the third or fourth time I think you were plumb used ta kissin' me in fron' a ev'ryone..."
"I saw Iris start tha' tha' first time... So's I got one helluva bone to pick with her too."
Snort... "Yeah... I'd like ta see tha'..."
"Yeah... Well... Hell..."
"'N I got one helluva 'thank you' ta give Iris fer doin' it... nobody else woulda dared start that up... They sure woulda wanted to... but they wouldna risked it with ya..."
"Shoulda put the fear a me inta tha' girl when she were growin' up."
"Ya know damn well ya never woulda... or coulda... done nothin' like tha'..."
"Yeah. I know."
"'N I gotta thank Iris fer... somehow... managin' ta get you out on the dance floor too... So's all I had ta do was cut in... 'n you couldn' do nothin' 'bout it..."
"Don't like dancin' 'n public."
"It weren't in public - it were just in fron' a our friends."
"Slipp'ry slope there."
"'N don't think I didn't notice Betty switch tha' music as soon as you cut in... Don't s'pose ya had anythin' ta do with tha' neither...?"
"I sure as hell didn't. She jus' musta seen us 'n changed it..."
"Yeah. I bet."
"'N least-wise I let ya lead, didn't I...?"
"Tha' musta been a big sacrifice fer ya... Not bein' able ta dip me 'n spin me 'n who knows what else..."
"Lift ya... I woulda lifted ya up 'n spun ya around in the air..."
"'N then dropped me, no doubt."
"Prob'bly. I get awful-dizzy-like spinnin' 'round. But I gotta tell ya, Ed... I really like the song Betty picked... Which reminds me... I borrowed tha' cd from her... Lessee... Here it is..."
"You 'n Betty both seem ta have somethin' 'gainst country music."
"'It's very clear... Our love sure as hell is here to staaay'... 'N in more ways than one... Hell... one day it'll be legal-like fer us ta marry 'crost this whole damn country... 'N then them bigots..."
"C'mon, Hank... Don't go gettin' started on no kinda rant... Not tonight anyways..."
"Fine. I won't... If you admit tha' you had fun too..."
"I ain't admittin' nothin'."
"Countdown ta a real major-like rant in t-minus ten seconds... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two..."
"Okay... Okay... I had fun."
"Knew it all the time."
"Eatin' tha' cake anyways... Tha' were real good."
"Hey... You got some a them leftovers... didn't ya...?"
"Right here, Ed..."
"Ya know... We gotta do somethin' real good ta thank both Bill 'n Betty too... Tha' was one helluva s'prise alrigh'... Showin' up in tha' courtroom ta find Iris 'n all our friends there ta cheer us on 'n celebrate tha' name changin' with us... Hell... I didn't even realize 'til then how many friends we had... 'N with all a them there weren't no way tha' judge woulda been able ta refuse ta do it..."
"Yeah... I think if'n he had refused there woulda been pitchforks brought out."
"I wouldna been surprised."
"I gotta admit, Hank... I were real happy ta see Iris... 'N I guess I were kinda relieved ta see all them folks there supportin' us too... I were nervous as hell tha' tha' sour-faced judge would refuse the name changin' fer some dumbass trumped-up reason... 'n then you'd punch him... 'n then he'd deck ya... 'n then I'd hafta deck him... 'n then they'd taze me... 'n we'd both end up in jail."
"I coulda took him by myself."
"Lucky we didn't gotta find out."
"So's... 'xactly how long were ya plannin' tha' marriage proposal...?"
"Believe it or not... 'n I know ya won't... I weren't plannin' it at all... It was just tha'... when I turned around 'n saw Iris... 'n all our friends... 'n I saw you standin' next ta me changin' yer name too... well... I guess it all just inspired me... 'N besides... I kinda liked havin' all a them witnesses ta yer answer... 'N I'd wager it's also part a the public record now... so's if'n ya go back on yer promise I'll be able ta take ya ta court 'n sue ya fer breach a promise."
"I'm jus' relieved ya said 'yeah'... I weren't so's sure fer a second there... Now that was one helluva shade a red ya turned..."
"Woulda preferred a more private-like proposal... Like I did fer you last time... with our rings 'n all..."
"Thought tha' were me..."
"You sure...? I think it were me."
"Think it were both a us."
"But I went first."
"Think I did."
"Ya wanna bet...?"
"Yer on. I wrote about it... So's I can look it up later... But... Here goes... Ed... I've loved the hell outta ya ever since I first laid eyes on ya... or prit' near thereafter... 'n we've spent the better part of our lives together... through real good times 'n real bad... 'n we been poorer 'n not quite so poorer 'n then back ta poorer 'n so forth 'n so on... 'n I sure as hell still wanna have ya... again 'n again 'n again... 'n hold ya too... So's... wouldya do me the honor a marryin' me... 'n makin' an honest man outta me... whenever these dumbasses in this here state decide... or more like are fin'lly forced... ta put their bigotry aside 'n give us the same civil marriage rights as ev'rybody else's got...?"
"Think ya changed a few a them words... 'N snuck a l'il bit a tha' rant in ta boot..."
"This is the new 'n improved proposal... jus' fer you... So's what's yer answer, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"You sure there were a question in there somewheres...?"
"Yep... 'N I do believe it was... Will ya marry me, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"I sure as hell will, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"Glad ta hear it, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"'But... It's my turn ta ask next time... when marryin' ya is legal-like here."
"Sure hope I'll be around ta say... 'Hell, yes!'."
"You sure as hell will be. 'N that's an order."
"Yes sir, Mr. Smith-Jones, sir. I will be there with big ol' bells on... or more like big ol' balls on... Mr. Smith-Jones, sir."
"Damn... I missed practic'lly the whole song..."
"Thanks be fer small favors."
"'But... Ouuuur looove... Our love is here ta staaaay'...."
A while later...
"Sure were nice a Betty ta think of havin' Iris stay with her fer tonight so's we got the house all to ourselves, Mr. Smith-Jones..."
"Wha' time are we meetin' Iris fer breakfast, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"She said ta call her 'round 9:00, Mr. Smith-Jones..."
"Nine...? Whole day's practic'lly over by then."
"Only if'n ya get up as damn early as you do, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"I'm callin' her at 8:00."
"Yeah. She'll love tha'... Hey... wait up a sec, Mr. Smith-Jones..."
"Wha'...? Wha' the hell d'ya think yer doin', Hank...?"
"Carryin' ya over the threshold, Mr. Smith-Jones..."
"Fireman's carry...? Real romantic-like, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"I thought so, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"Don't go droppin' them leftovers... Or me..."
"I won't, dumbass."
"Damn... Watch my head, Hank..."
"Least-wise I didn't drop ya..."
A little while later...
"So's... Where d'ya wanna consummate the name-changin', Mr. Smith-Jones...? Ya know, it ain't legal-like 'til we consummate it... Tha' there judge took me aside before we left 'n told me tha'. Even said I need ta send him some pictures ta prove it."
"So's... upstairs or down here in fron' a the fireplace...? Or somewheres else you migh' got in mind, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"Upstairs. Nice, comfortable bed, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"You got it, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"Hope I do. I'm purty well beat after today, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"It were a real long day fer ya, weren't it, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"Yep. Long... but good, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"So's yer admittin' it were good, huh...?"
"I ain't admittin' nothin'."
"Too late. Ya already did. But... Are ya really too tired, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"I dunno... I am purty tired, Mr. Smith-Jones... 'N how the hell are you still so wide awake...?"
"Socializin' ain't my kryptonite... it's yers... Hell... I getta buncha energy from bein' 'round other folks..."
"I'll never understand tha'."
"Whereas workin' is mine... kryptonite, I mean..."
"So's yer admittin' it...?"
"Yep. Saps ev'ry bit a energy outta me."
"Lucky fer me."
"'N lucky fer me you enjoy all the yammerin'... 'n alls I gotta do is stand by 'n try 'n look int'rested."
"Yer in'trested 'nough... if'n the conversation is about ranchin'... or trucks... or pie..."
"Not pie... Pie is fer eatin'... not discussin'."
"You got a point there. So's... how 'bout we jus' wait 'til tomorrow fer consummatin' the hell outta each other, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"Iris'll be stayin' here tomorrow."
"How 'bout we consummate the hell outta each other real quiet-like tomorrow night then, Mr. Smith-Jones...?"
"No way, Hank... Ya know these here walls are paper thin."
"I think Iris knows we..."
"No way, Hank."
"Okay then... Sunday night it is, Mr. Smith-Jones... But I think we should start on tha' bedroom addition real soon-like... Or there's tomorrow mornin'... I could pencil ya in 'fore breakfast..."
"How 'bout we jus' stop tryin' ta schedule it... 'N jus' go ta bed 'n see if'n anythin'... uh... develops..."
"Sounds good ta me, Mr. Smith-Jones... But..."
"I jus' wanted ta say thanks again, Mr. Smith-Jones... Fer thinkin' a the name changin' in the first place... 'n then fer goin' through with it... 'n fer hyphenatin' them names so's we both changed our name..."
"Sounds like ya owe me a whole helluva lot, Mr. Smith-Jones..."
"I sure do. 'N you jus' let me know when ya want me ta start payin' ya back..."
"I'll do tha'... But... I... uh... I got somethin' fer ya, Hank... well... it's fer us really..."
"Dammit, Ed... I didn't know you were gonna get me somethin'... I didn't get you nothin'..."
"That's 'Dammit, Mr. Smith-Jones' ta you."
"Fine. Dammit, Mr. Smith Jones..."
"Here... Just open it... wouldya...? It ain't store-bought or nothin'... it's jus' somethin' I made... fer us..."
"Damn... It's beautiful, Ed..."
"It's a box fer puttin' our pocket watches in at night... instead a jus' tossin' 'em on the dresser like we do now... Woulda done one fer our rings too... but we're wearin' 'em all the time... See... this side's got yer name... 'n opens up 'n there's a nice spot fer yer watch... 'n that other side's got my name on it 'n opens separate-like but the watches are still righ' next ta each other inside... Hope ya don't mind I got tha' metal thing fer yer side engraved with 'Henry Smith-Jones' instead a 'Hank'... I know yer ma's the only one who ever called ya 'Henry'... but I wanted it ta sound kinda formal-like... ya know... fer the occasion 'n all... 'N that's why I went with 'Edward Smith-Jones' fer me... But I can get tha' changed easy 'nough if'n ya want me too... Jus' wanted ta give ya somethin' finished instead a jus' part-ways done..."
"'Henry' is just fine, Ed... My ma really woulda liked tha' ya used my given name..."
"Yeah... I think she woulda."
"I love it, Ed. It's perfect."
"Glad ya like it, Hank."
"'N I was jus' kiddin' 'bout the 'Dammit, Mr. Smith-Jones... I got us some stuff too..."
"Dammit, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"I thought so."
"Hold on... I'll go get it all..."
A minute later...
"Dammit, Hank... Wha' the hell is all a tha'...?"
"I suggest ya open 'em 'n find out."
"Door mats with our name on 'em...?"
"Yep. One fer the front door 'n one fer the kitchen door."
"You 'fraid we're gonna ferget our name...?"
"Jus' like ta see it in print as often as poss'ble."
"Towels with our initials on 'em...?"
"Yep. Real nice big ones. Our old ones were gettin' kinda ratty..."
"'N sheets with 'em too...?"
"Yer lookin' at 'em aintcha...?"
"Exactly how much didya spend on all a this...?"
"Ain't s'posed ta ask how much yer gifts cost."
"My gifts, huh..."
"Trust me... Yer gonna like them sheets a whole lot... 'N them towels too."
"Yeah... Well... Guess we could use some new sheets... 'n towels... 'N them door mats are least-wise practical-like too."
"Yep. I know damn well 'practical-like' is yer middle name, Mr. Smith-Practical-like-Jones..."
"Think tha'd be Mr. Edward Practical-like Smith-Jones."
"Now... open this here last one, Mr. Edward Practical-like Smith-Practical-like-Jones..."
"Damn... That's real nice, Hank... Real nice..."
"Glad ya like it, Ed... I saw ya needed a new belt... 'n I figured I might as well getcha a nice monogrammed belt buckle ta go with it... Got one fer me too... But... If'n ya don't want me to... I don't gotta wear mine when ya wear yers..."
"Well... I'm gonna wear mine most all the time I ain't doin' somethin' tha' could wreck it... 'N you can wear yers whenever ya wanna, Hank..."
"Well then I'll purty much be wearin' mine all the time."
"Yeah... You ain't usually doin' much tha' could wreck it."
"Not if I can help it. 'Course... I'm gonna make an exception 'n paint the mailbox next week..."
"Lemme guess... With our new last name...?"
"No other reason ta bother paintin' it."
"Don't go strainin' no muscles or nothin'."
"I'll try not ta. So's... How 'bout I put on some nice, relaxin' music, Mr. Edward Smith-Jones...? Not with any expectations a nothin'... a course..."
"No way, Mr. Henry Smith-Jones... I'm puttin' the music on tonigh'..."
"But I was gonna play... 'Me 'n Mr. Smith-Jooooones... We got a thiiing... goin' on... We both know it AIN'T wroooong'... though it took one of us... 'n I ain't namin' names... (Mr. Edward Smith-Jones)... a helluva lot longer than the other ta figure that out... 'But it's much too stroooong... ta let it go now..."
"Put a lotta thought inta that one, didya...?"
"I guess it is justa li'l obvious."
"So's... I'll put somethin' on fer a change..."
"You go right ahead, Mr. Edward Smith-Jones..."
"Don't mind if'n I do, Mr. Henry Smith-Jones... But..."
"I jus' wanna tell ya, Hank... I know... uh... I know I still ain't as comfortable-like with ev'rythin' as you are... Them public-like displays of affection 'n standin' up in tha' courtroom... All tha' weren't easy fer me... Not by no long shot... But... I... uh... I wantcha ta know... If it weren't fer you... I... well... I mean... Yer the one who... uh..."
"I know, Ed. Ya don't gotta say it."
"Thanks be fer tha'."
"'N... I gotta tell you, Ed... I didn't think I'd ever see the day ya'd kiss me and dance with me 'n public... much less have 'em be the same day... It don't get no better than tha'..."
"Weren't in public... it were just in front a our friends."
"Now where have I heard tha' before...?"
"So's... You puttin' some music on or not...?"
"Yeah... Here... Guess this one'll do..."
"Mr. Don Williams, huh...?"
"Yep. 'Nobody But You'."
"Nobody but you too, Ed."
"'Course... I guess it is kinda nice ta have some good friends around too..."
"Yeah, it sure as hell is."
"Now c'mon over here 'n start payin' me back, Mr. Henry Smith-Jones..."
"You ain't too tired, Mr. Edward Smith-Jones...?"
"Think I got me a second wind, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"Glad ta hear it. 'Course you migh' need a third 'n a fourth wind by the time I'm through with ya..."
"Do yer best, Mr. Smith-Jones."
"I always do, Mr. Smith-Jones."
A few minutes later...
"Wha' the hell are ya doin', Hank...?"
"Wha'...? I jus' wanted ta make tha' judge happy... Smile, Mr. Edward Smith Jones..."
"Put the damn camera down 'n c'mon back here, dumbass..."
Nobody but you...
Who, by touchin' my hand
Makes me understand, questions my heart is askin'
Who, opened my eyes, made me realize
Love is everlastin'.
Nobody but you, nobody but you
Nobody else, could love me, like you do
Nobody but you, could see me through
Yer love is true 'n I don't need nobody but you.
Who comes jus' close enough
And shows me tha' love is nothin' to be afraid of
Who, holds me so tight ev'ry night
'N shows me what love is made of.
Nobody but you, nobody but you
Nobody else, could love me, like you do
Nobody but you, could see me through
Yer love is true 'n I don't need nobody but you...