Rants & Essays
The Cruelest Month
I live across from a church, a large and ornate one,
complete with bells that chime on the hours and stained glass. It is
exceedingly picturesque, and has been the host to a wedding every Saturday and
Sunday since it became warm enough to have the people come outside afterwards
and take charming pictures of themselves in front of the church, or the
handsome and fragrant linden tree.
There are funerals there too. One day there was a large
funeral for a police officer, and the street was immobilized for hours with the
coming and going of hearses and cruisers. The officers were dressed in their
very best uniforms.
But it is the weddings that trouble me. Two people, with a
great party of their families coming and taking vows under the auspices of the
catholic church. Supposedly one of the most significant events of a person's
And I watch from my little window and see endless closeness,
and the opportunity for endless agony. Every other party that goes in and out
of those doors will be an impermanent union. How many of those that are
permanent will be of a quality that they would willingly go and do it all again
if they could?
So a time of joy has been in my eyes transmuted into just an
opportunity for agony that could be avoided if they just chose not to cross the
I anticipate that I will settle into something more or less
long term at some point with one or more people. Can I see myself "walking down
the aisle" with my chosen partner(s) someday? Probably not, because formalities
don't validate feelings. And what if they feel, or I feel different in a week,
or a year, or two? People change and grow. Must we lock ourselves into
permanence because it is the expected thing to do?
And white weddings with smiling families only serve to
remind me how different I am from them.