The wedding photo

Posted: 2011 in Post 2.0
Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, March 22, 8:01 p.m.

“Sometimes I have this dream where I can see her. It’s so damned mundane and stupid. I’m sitting at the breakfast table, harping on the tax return. She’s tying up a garbage bag and blowing her bangs off her forehead. She used to do that all the time, never cut them until they were past her nose. Then suddenly I wake up and I’m…shocked that she isn’t beside me in the bed. Do you know?”

“No,” I say.

Jack reaches for the pictures. His eyes are averted to the fake wood paneling that covers the wall of this hole-in-the-wall bar that grandly calls itself a lounge. He pulls one from the pile. It looks very old. Its corners are rounded. He looks at it, then hands it to me.

I take in the faded image of a much younger Jack O’Lies, clad in a salmon pink tuxedo with black piping all over the sleeves and lapels, dude cowboy style. He has pushed the sleeves up, a Don Johnson  wannabe.

Don Johnson Miami Vice

His hair is puffed out in a sort of white guy afro. His face is smeared by a bleary grin. He looks nothing like the haggard widower seated across from me.

I inadvertently laugh.

“That’s you? What year is this?” I say.

“Late eighties. Why?”

“You look like Miami Vice. How old were you?”

“Twenty-three,” he says.

“Wow. You got married young.”

He shrugs.

I know better than to laugh at his bride. Her wedding dress is horrible. It’s made of some kind of white and ivory checked gingham, all puffed sleeves and western flounces, like a virginal square dancer. Her hair is in braids. Her veil appears to be secured by a bit of knotted Christmas tinsel. She carries a mixed bouquet of dandelions and yellow roses. She looks like a hillbilly.

“Was…was it a theme wedding?” I ask.

“No. We were young. And broke.”

I feel I’m allowed to be judgmental, since I (not broke, but cheap) got my wedding dress for $35 at the Value Village. It looked a thousand times classier. Then again, maybe everyone at my wedding was secretly snickering.

“She was very beautiful,” I say.

And she was.



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