We were supposed to get married on an island but instead we get married in a basement. You were supposed to have a veil, I was supposed to have polka dot loafers. “Did you bring ten dollars?” the woman behind the glass asks. “Yes,” we tell her, “yes.” We were supposed to get married on a cliff overlooking crashing waves. Under the glass we pass the ten dollars. It was supposed to be flowers, awnings, tides. When the judge arrives, he’s sweating. “My eleventh today,” he says. His speaker is broken so he shouts. We were supposed to get married next to groups of friends from everywhere. Instead we are our own witnesses. We are our only now. You say I do, I say I do. We do. It’s official. We’re married downstairs. We walk out of the courthouse and see a woman pushing a bus. She’s preaching. She’s seething. She yells and yells.

6 Comments

  1. Silas Reeves

    Wow. Devastatingly beautiful. I feel like I got hit by that bus. The cadence is unrelenting and I love it, feels like it will never stop. There is a part of me that badly wants to know why the island cliff wedding didn’t happen and it’s not important because the lack drives the story on and on. Or maybe it is? Lots of room to expand on what caused the narrator’s wedding to take this form if that be the desired path. I found humor in the absurdness of humanity like the sweaty judge and his broken speaker and that how perhaps one small ironic change in the universe’s plans could cause the island wedding not to occur. This is well-crafted and tightly wound. There seems like a hint of resignation or anger on the narrator’s part? Hard to discern their exact emotional state. Maybe that’s provided by the seething woman at the end?

  2. Jack O'Connell

    The repetition “supposed” “I do, we do” is awesome. Can you keep tunneling into that and confuse me more? If you want to expand it, I think there’s plenty of room to go into the two people getting married. Also you could ask your unconscious why is there a judge here? Is he judging them? For not getting married on an island, for being the type of people who don’t get married on islands, do get married on islands? Judge is a powerful word you could keep going into.

  3. Ben Saff

    Killer. Killer. Love the tangential detail of the preaching woman pushing the bus. I think it kinda makes the whole thing for me. I think you could nix “It’s official.” And go into “We’re married downstairs.” I almost want that line to loop back to the opening lines: “We’re married in a basement”.

  4. Bud Smith

    This is dope, I’m sold. Here let me tinker a little bit:

    Wedding Masks

    We were supposed to get married on an island but instead we go into a basement. You were supposed to have a veil, and I, polka dot loafers. “Did you bring ten dollars?” the woman behind the glass asks. “Yes,” we tell her, “yes.” We were supposed to get married on a cliff overlooking crashing waves. Under the glass we pass the ten dollars. It was supposed to be flowers, awnings, tides. The sweaty judge arrives. “My eleventh today.” He shouts though his broken speaker. We were supposed to get married next to groups of friends from everywhere. Instead we are our own witnesses. We say I do. You say I do, I say I do. We do. It’s official. We’re married downstairs. We walk up the strips and into the sunlight and see a woman pushing a bus full of sinners. She’s preaching. She’s seething. She yells and yells. Maybe she’ll save them.

    • Bud Smith

      you should get rid of that ‘you’ — it sticks out … and also, the woman behind the glass and then later the woman pushing the bus, I’d almost like some kind of big ticket descriptor for the woman pushing the bus, maybe she is a priestess instead of a woman …

      Wedding Masks

      We were supposed to get married on an island but instead we go into a basement. She were supposed to have a veil, and I, polka dot loafers. “Did you bring ten dollars?” the clerk behind the glass asks. “Yes,” we tell her, “yes.” We were supposed to get married on a cliff overlooking crashing waves. Under the glass we pass the ten dollars. It was supposed to be flowers, awnings, tides. The sweaty judge arrives. “My eleventh today.” He shouts though his broken speaker. We were supposed to get married next to groups of friends from everywhere. Instead we are our own witnesses. We say I do. You say I do, I say I do. We do. It’s official. We’re married downstairs. We walk up the strips and into the sunlight and see a priestess pushing a bus full of sinners. She’s preaching. She’s seething. She yells and yells. Maybe she’ll even save them.

      Oh — what island?

  5. Bud Smith

    Wedding Masks

    We were supposed to get married on the island of Sao Tomé but instead we go into the courthouse basement. She were supposed to have a veil, and I, polka dot loafers. “Did you bring ten dollars?” the clerk behind the glass asks. “Yes,” we tell her, “yes.” We were supposed to get married on a cliff overlooking crashing waves. Under the glass we pass the ten dollars. It was supposed to be flowers, awnings, tides. The sweaty judge arrives. “My eleventh today.” He shouts though his broken speaker. We were supposed to get married next to groups of friends from everywhere. Instead we are our own witnesses. We say I do. You say I do, I say I do. We do. It’s official. We’re married downstairs. We walk up the strips and into the sunlight and see a priestess pushing a bus full of sinners. She’s preaching. She’s seething. She yells and yells. Maybe she’ll even save them.

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