December 10, 2008 :: Happenstance.

Two years and one day ago, to my knowledge, I had never heard the name Blake Rainey. Given that I'd lived in the same town as this person for nearly 8 years, frequented the same dives, seen some of the same bands, and even rented an apartment that overlooked his at one point, it's likely we crossed paths, but fate or karma or the great spaghetti monster or what-have-you did not see fit to make that presence corporeal. The way we met was pure happenstance.

Read on, that that lovely word (a word I've always liked) is going to sound supremely cheesy. Because on December 9, 2006, I walked into a morning-lit bar full of hung-over, bescruffled musicians to have my name drawn out of a hat, linked up with four people I'd never met, and sent off to write a set of original music to be performed, nearly untested, that night in front of a packed-out club. Yeah, the call it "The Happenstance." Egos be-damned, early-morning prickleyness nonwithstanding, creative differences, fuck-off. It could have been hell. It could have been a cellblock meeting with a ball-point shiv. It could have been ten fingernails ripped out and dripped with lemon juice. But boy did I get lucky. I got Kim, and Ben, and Rich (someone I've lost track of, but who was a pleasant dude). Exceedingly nice, exceedingly talented folks who were kind enough to not strangle me with guitar strings for being the obvious weak link.

I also got Blake.

I like to tell people (when they ask me how we met) that Blake pulled my name out of a hat. The rest of the story takes a while and involves explaining both the dictionary meaning and Atlanta music-scene meaning of Happenstance. There was obviously some time and a lot of detail between that first night, playing, that first date at the Local, that day he moved into my apartment, the day we decided to get married, and the upcoming day where we'll get right back on that stage, together, for the first time since then. Just too much to type out right now. Just know that that night in 2006 was one of the most fun nights of my life. And thanks to Blake, now, I've had exactly 730 of the most fun days, nights, mornings, weekends, lunches, mid-days, date-nights, afternoons, dawns and witching-hours of my life, straight.

Now that was a good twist of fate.


Northern Constitutional said...

Such an amazing story. I NEVER get tired of hearing it.

Stonehenge said...

Hey this is Ben: through computer magic I saw you'd linked the Judi site from this post. I didn't know about the marriage thing, so wanted to say congratulations! Sadly, I couldn't make the Happenstance this year, but still frequently see people I met there around town. I also still have your copies of the CDs from that night, so hit me up if you want them mailed to you. Happy non-denominational winter vacation times to you both!