The Wedding Vow
By Sharon Olds
I did not stand at the altar, I stood
at the foot of the chancel steps, with my beloved,
and the minister stood on the top step
holding the open Bible. The church
was wood, painted ivory inside, no people—God’s
stable perfectly cleaned. It was night,
spring—outside, a moat of mud,
and inside, from the rafters, flies
fell onto the open Bible, and the minister
tilted it and brushed them off. We stood
beside each other, crying slightly
with fear and awe. In truth, we had married
that first night, in bed, we had been
married by our bodies, but now we stood
in history—what our bodies had said,
mouth to mouth, we now said publicly,
gathered together, death. We stood
holding each other by the hand, yet I also
stood as if alone, for a moment,
just before the vow, though taken
years before, took. It was a vow
of the present and the future, and yet I felt it
to have some touch on the distant past
or the distant past on it, I felt
the wordless, dry, crying ghost of my
parents’ marriage there, somewhere
in the echoing space—perhaps one of the
plummeting flies, bouncing slightly
as it hit forsaking all others, then was brushed
away. I felt as if I had come
to claim a promise—the sweetness I’d inferred
from their sourness, and at the same time that I
had come, congenitally unworthy, to beg.
And yet, I had been working toward this hour
all my life. And then it was time
to speak—he was offering me, no matter
what, his life. That is all I had to
do, that evening, to accept the gift
I had longed for—to say I had accepted it,
as if being asked if I breathe. Do I take?
I do. I take as he takes—we have been
practicing this. Do you bear this pleasure? I do.
The good news for Tuesday: Paul the hot Irish plumber was here. The better news: both showers now work and the kitchen sink no longer leaks. The bad news: I could probably have hired Paul the hot Irish plumber for sex for less than all this cost. Ah well, at least the working shower will still be here in the morning! Younger son started Hebrew school and seemed content enough if bored. He also got upset talking about regular school, claiming at first that he was bored there. Turns out he got in trouble at recess yesterday (along with most of the boys in his class) for throwing some plastic blocks around, and he had a form I needed to sign acknowledging his misdeed. I think he was afraid I was going to say no video games this weekend. Little does he know that he's not going to have much time for video games, since we have a Bar Mitzvah Saturday evening!
Wrote two Trek articles (Spiner declaring his Data days over, Mulgrew cutting off a feminist retrospective on Star Trek by a female NPR reporter getting Henry Jenkins to talk about how women saved Star Trek with her announcement that the young male demographic was what really mattered). Oh, and utimately, we managed to vote. There was a twenty-minute line, something we have never experienced before, and we weren't even there till after 6 p.m. and I imagine it got worse as 8 p.m. approached, since most people didn't seem to know the voting deadline had been extended till 9. The front-runner in the Senate race appeared to be leading by far more than anticipated when I stopped watching election returns a little while ago, which suggests to me that there may have been disenfranchisement along racial lines. What a travesty.
In the evening we watched Crocodile Hunter because the kids were in the mood and then ended up sad. But then we had our own Animal Planet experience in the basement, where the cats have clearly been slacking on the job for which we hired them:
This camel cricket leaped out at me while I was carrying laundry upstairs. I screamed like a girl, which of course attracted the entire household BUT the cats who couldn't have cared. Younger son shrieked that the cricket was not to be harmed, so older son went up to get a container to catch it in while husband went to get the camera. We managed to get the photo but not the cricket, which leaped about seven feet into the air and vanished into a dark corner of the basement from which it could not be coaxed. If it is smart, it will stay there. If it is not smart, it may be regurgitated in pieces on the rug by Cinnamon at a date to be determined later.
fridayfiver: Doused In Mud
1. When is the last time you dressed inappropriately for a situation? Probably Saturday. *g*
2. How many friends do you have? Oh, good, a SIMPLE question! Today it feels like maybe five. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
3. Are you running on time today? My kids had no school, which by definition means, no.
4. Do you use bleach on your laundry? On kids' underwear regularly; on older son's white shirt that had an encounter with the chocolate fountain this week.
5. What are your thoughts on guns? Keep 'em on the firing range and locked up when not in use far away from the ammunition, please.
fannish5: What five items owned by characters in your fandom(s) would you most like to own?
1. A wand. And the ability to use it. (Harry Potter)
2. A transporter. (Star Trek)
3. A Time-Turner. (Harry Potter)
4. A replicator. (Star Trek)
5. A Point Of View Gun. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Fandom sucked Tuesday in a corner from which I've been away so long I'd forgotten just how bad it could be. Wednesday I have an early dentist appointment and younger son has a violin lesson after school, so we will see how much I manage to get done in the interim.