The Wedding Day

10 Feb

Patches of it were wonderful. Nothing has changed that. Nothing will change that. I have nice memories and some good photographs. The ones taken outside the mansion. I look lovely. Sid, too. I look modern like. You’d never guess they were taken so long ago. The flares on Sid’s trousers are the big give-away. And the hairstyles too. All the hair poofy and crimped. Split down the middle. People stood differently back then. Like they weren’t confident. Like their clothes were too small for them. Still, not a bunch of bad looking people. Both sides. The aunts and uncles, cousins. Boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, kids and babies. They were from all over Scranton. Some from as far west as Missoula. One set of cousins from Dublin even. A boyfriend from Shannon; one of my cousin’s. He sang The Weight, and Up on Cripple Creek later on at the reception. My father is smiling. Take note you. Smiling now. So is Carmen. I think it’s the only time that day that my father smiled. For the camera. He always smiled for the camera. Sari is squinting. My mother is looking at my father. All my brothers look like dwarves next to Sid’s. It was bright that day. It rained, but only later on. After everyone had gone and Sid and I were cleaning up. The weather was nice. Sari isn’t the only one squinting. Everyone is. The photographer had us turn toward the sun. Looking into it. He was a dreadful idjit.
–Say cheddar!
Some of Sid’s side were glaring at the photographer. A stranger looking at the photos could tell where one side of the family started and the other ended. It’s like a border running through the middle of the pictures. Different sizes, different faces. It was chilly as well. You can tell by how everyone is standing. Like chickens with ruffled feathers. Grandma O’Connor died two days after the wedding. It’s weird, you can’t tell it was coming from the photos. She looks almost as young as my mother. She never liked my mother. I always knew that. The old man beside her is my Grandpa. He died two winters ago. Long after my father. I hadn’t seen him for a long time before he died. I went back to arrange everything after. The funeral, the wake, food. I got out of the habit of going to see him. I began to like him less and less. He turned insufferable in the end. But I went back to make the arrangements. No one else would. They were all paralyzed. No one knew what to do. They just sat around. They had come from all over. Saskatchewan…Regina. All of them here for formalities.  Just sat around in that bloody kitchen.
–Can we help with anything love?
Anyway, I’ll put away the photographs now so I don’t start going through the rows counting the dead. It was a good day. That’s the word. Good.
–I do.

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2 Responses to “The Wedding Day”

  1. Slyboots 10/02/2008 at 10:56 PM #

    Regina rhymes with….you know. Always cracked me up. Silly Canadians. Making the joke too easy.

    Funny though- with this one, there is something about the cadence that changes drastically in the last paragraph. It happens with the “two winters ago.” Almost like a brief and instant peek beyond the narrator to you. Sort of a more formal something coming out.

    But then she’s back again in the last little bit.

  2. (S)wine 11/02/2008 at 12:17 AM #

    Yes. A bit of something else comes out there in that little space.

    I deliberately pronounce it Re-gee-na, just so I can stand corrected. It is at that time that I bring out my Beavis and Butthead laugh, thus signaling my overt immaturity.

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