Saturday, March 13, 2004


The conclusion to Six Years Ago Today, posted late, backdated, and with love.

Part 1 is here, part 2 here.

I could tell you about the intervening time. How we didn't see each other for three days and were both embarrassed and unsure and he had to get very drunk to come over and asked me to spend the night again. How we kept it a secret from our friends. How I kissed him right before his cue at a cabaret so he'd have to go onstage with lipstick on his face. How we started sleeping together in a way that involved more than sleep. How we watched Lonesome Dove. I could tell you all of that. I could tell you the exact dates and approximate times of day. It doesn't matter.

On Friday, March 13, 1998 I walked down the back steps of West dormitory in an old full-length wine-colored velvet dress. I wore new shoes, a borrowed shawl, and a blue garter. I was "given away" by my friend Craig, who has since passed away. Waiting at the stump where we drank our morning coffee and our evening beers was Will, in a white linen suit. Adam, a minister of the Universal Life Church, read vows that we'd written ourselves. They were terribly silly. Someone had a video camera. Will put a ring on my finger. I put one on his. The combined value of the rings was under two dollars. His was the ugliest one I'd been able to find. My hands were shaking.

After the ceremony I threw my "bouquet" (a black silk rose) and garter, and then we ate tiramisu that Craig had made for us. We'd forgotten plates and forks and made a terrific mess. That night there was a dance in the community space (technically called the Dance Space but I'll be damned if I'm going to say that outside of a parenthetical) and the coordinator gave us free passes. On the walk over Will stopped me and told me he loved me.

That seems like a pretty good place to end the story. The post script is about how we signed the certificate but never sent it to the courthouse. It's valid for 30 days after signing, which means that for 30 days we were legally married but after those 30 days we had never been married.