Rants & Essays

The Cruelest Month

By Other

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 life.

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 threshold.

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.