12 February 2006

Ruminations on love

Today, Yoko and I began our marriage preparations in full swing. People have been telling me, Dude, you gotta start planning, or Marriages take a lot of planning, or maybe you should hire someone to plan your wedding. Pish, posh, has been my reply. We need no such thing. Plus, the two of us? Laid-back almost to a fault. Today we gave in and went out dress shopping.

I don't know if you're familiar with the "customs" of the typical "wedding," but usually the Bride wears an expensive, usually white dress, so we headed out to "White Berrys," the local bridal shop. First we filled out a questionnaire that included the question: How many months pregnant will you be at the time of the wedding? Then we looked through some catalogues and I was initially shocked at the prices, but thought, it's a wedding and that's the way it is. $2000 for dress seemed like a bit much, but after some discussion of the problems of "bad luck" in seeing Yoko in an actual dress, we decided that we would risk it and Yoko disappeared behind the curtain with one of the overly kind store clerks who proceeded to ask Yoko about her underwear in the most polite terms I've ever heard.

Maybe now it gets serious. Because I waited for about 15 minutes, fidgeting on the couch, playing with my cell phone. I had told Yoko, jokingly, that if I saw her in a dress, I might back out because it would be too real, too shocking, but I waited and finally, they pulled back the curtain.

The paragraph break marks the absence of words because there are no words at this moment in the scene. A kind of falling, maybe, a kind of white out because she was suddenly something different, something from a movie. Taller. Beautiful, so beautiful that I could only smile. I smiled and sat there, staring. The clerk said, She looks beautiful, doesn't she? And I couldn't say anything. This was who I was going to marry? Does she know how weak I am, how insecure and inadequate I really am? Does she know that I will never stand that tall, no matter how much I stretch? She knew, I think, because she winked at me, the way I imagine that God winks at me sometimes. So I stood next to her, and everything became very, very real for the first time since we got engaged.

Love is patient, love is kind. I believe that.

Neal and I talked tonight about everything, about the dress, God, love, sex, commitment. The music we listened to fit so perfectly as the conversation moved. First, U2's Pop, then a System of Down record, then a sampler of electronica, then the Low record then a folk singer from Duluth. To see things clearly in the course of a discussion or a comment you yourself make that instructs you, is fabulous. Or to have friends that don't judge, but ask the right questions or allow you to see weakness and failure for what they are, but still point out success and encourage is something worth trying. Because how can we make it if not with each other.

I ate too much, bought new underwear, lay with Yoko under the down comforter, walked in wet, falling snow to a cold car. February is a ghost.