I went to a wedding the other weekend. The son of my father’s friend was getting married to his college sweetheart. The venue was at the Chart House, a beautiful restaurant that leaned into the Hudson, the lights of the city skyline illuminating the background. I put on my best suit and made the drive down. When I arrived, I had my mind on other things, but the November chill and the flickering lights along the river forced a reminder upon me of my last time there. I should have just went inside, but I couldn’t help but walk across the boardwalk, my hands sliding across the cold handrail as I gazed upon the light fading behind the horizon. No time for reminiscing, it was a wedding after all, and I mustn’t develop a sad mood, which would have certainly happened had I fallen deeper into my own thoughts.
I greeted everyone I knew and congratulated the groom. His face, brighter than the city lights behind him, made me forget about the thoughts I had along the riverside. I proceeded with the standard loitering until the ceremony began. I took a seat toward the back, but with a clear line of sight to the bride and groom. There was nothing particularly special about this wedding, it commenced like all the other weddings I’ve been to. The groom, best man, groomsmen, maid of honor, bridesmaids, and bride and father all walked down the aisle. The master of ceremonies with his bad attempt at humor. But then the bride and groom exchanged their vows. The bride cried as the groom delivered his speech to her, and the groom swallowed some tears himself when she traced their journey to this day in hers. And it was at this moment that I began doing something that I shouldn’t have. I started imagining myself up there as the groom. And with no surprise, it was you who I imagined there beside me as the bride. And despite how beautiful the bride was up there, I imagined you in your wedding dress bringing me to my knees with your stunning beauty. Perhaps the winter frost had already made me weak, but I felt like crying there and then, just imagining how beautiful you would be on your wedding day. I started imagining myself giving my speech to you, and I needn’t think, the words I would say I already knew. And then their kiss – the kiss of a lifetime – only it wasn’t their kiss but ours, and it was just you and me in the world. Needless to say, the entire ceremony began and ended, but I didn’t see any of it, just my own daydream that was playing inside my head.
These feelings and thoughts I get persist within me unless I write them down somewhere. Writing it all seems to break the chains that anchor them to me. They then dissipate into the air only for the next thought to hit me, whenever that may be, for however longer it may be. I guess one day it may stop altogether.
I hope you marry a man who is brought to his knees by the sight of you on your wedding day and is brought to tears by your words.