The 16th of May 1973 – Louisville, Kentucky

(found in the narthex of Hope Lutheran Church)

I thought about bolting. Let’s get that out of the way first.

One day, when this is a long-forgotten and crumpled up piece of paper – because I’m never showing it to you – I’ll sit across from you on the couch, in front of a fireplace, after the kids have gone to bed, and I’ll tell you, right after I gulp down a mouthful of Merlot, that I thought about bolting.

I mean, I didn’t. That’s what I’ll say. I thought of it without thinking it. It was more of a proposition that popped into a weak mind, one focused more on keeping the tremble out of my hands than the infinite commitment I was about to step into, and it was a proposition that was easily dismissed. I mean, that’s what I’ll say.

I’m pacing around this room. I’m pacing and I’m pacing, and I’m rehearsing my vows, and I’m wondering why they’re so long. I’m pacing and I’m pacing and I’m turning over the wedding band in my free hand, the one that isn’t trembling with the sheet of vows, and I’m wondering over and over again who decided to get a ceramic wedding band.

I get the circle, the infinite and enduring circle with no end and no beginning. I understand it, and that’s great. It’s a tad confusing, I’ll be honest, because I keep spinning the thing around over and over, and I don’t see any beginning, which I find odd, honestly, odd. But it lacks an ending, too. That’s good. It keeps going.

I had my doubts about ceramic. I told you that. I told you that I thought it would chip or break or smudge. I told you I thought it would tarnish, and you told me that only metal could tarnish, and then I gave up. I told you to go ahead, honey, buy it.

I’m pacing around this room. I’m pacing and I’m pacing, and I’ve been flipping this thing back and forth around in my hand, jiggling it like an Atlantic City gangster jiggles spare change. I’ve been jiggling it, and – let’s just get this out of the way for once and for all – I’ve dropped it at least half a dozen times. I’ve dropped the wedding band on this cold, stone floor at least a dozen times, maybe two or three dozen, but I shouldn’t tell you that.

I will tell you this.

It hasn’t chipped. It hasn’t shattered, and it hasn’t been smudged a bit.

I’ve decided that my vows are too long. They really are. I think I’ve only got three words to say. Maybe I’ll tack on a fourth.

See you soon. See you forever.

Love,

Clark

 

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11 comments

  1. Thanks for the ping back.

    I really enjoyed this post, I felt like I was in the room at one point, watching him pacing the room, jiggling the ring in his hand, his other hand trembling as he thought about his vows..

    A fantastic read!

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