“I will give you one kiss, if you say please,” the tot told me. No one can resist such a good offer. We sat there in the heat, sweating into our dress clothes. With the popularity of outdoor weddings in this climate, dry cleaning businesses must do well.
Thinking about dry cleaning while at a wedding—you are getting old. As I thought that thought, the thought faded to other thoughts and the ceremony began, and then it was over, and it all happened so quick that it is compressed into one simply memory of a thought.
The male fiddler crabs were very busy showing off their ridiculously over-sized claws to the females in the sand beneath the boardwalk. They were shaking those claws about, scuttling along, and making their own wedding plans. I walked as fast as a person can that is aiming for the spike of the heel to hit not in the cracks between the boards.
I had a vision suddenly.
There I was, walking along a boardwalk with no railings in those heels, but I made one perilous misstep. The heel got stuck in a crack. The tot on my hip offset my balance all the more. The one little nudge from the bestman as he hurried past to catch up for pictures was all I needed to send me over the side with the fiddlers.
I squinted my eyes from side to side to catch wind of that one fool that might topple the precariously balanced various objects that were composed as me. No such person was in sight. One never appreciates how many boards go into making a boardwalk until walking it in stilts.
We Managed to Cross that Ocean of a Boardwalk
I stood in those spikes/stilts on the safety of flat ground. Sweet, wonderful flat ground. I was mentally embracing it. I ran a foot across the lovely slick surface, but then something reverberated from that fabulous flatness. I felt it rattle through my feet at the same instant that it slammed into my ears.
The DJ had just started the music, and I don’t know much about speakers, but I don’t think that little room was meant for quite that set up. Or, maybe I’m just getting old. I watched as the tot hit the dance floor, twirling carefully on the outskirts as a particular group of adults with increasingly ridiculous antics descended. They were a very interesting study.
A group of adults drinking a great deal and dancing to pop music with their adult bodies and their adult fat pockets jiggling in the flash of blue and green lights careening back and forth across the dance floor is something that is difficult to look away from. They look like they are at a frat party…of college kids that never grew up and left college. This realization sent me outside.
Outside the most perfect sunset known to man had laid itself out across the waterway like a sacrifice in honor of the marriage. There is always a sense of magic in watching how quickly the orb dips below the horizon when it is so very close. Peaceful darkness was settling in. Nature’s cloak.
I stayed out, all snug inside that cloak so that it was difficult to leave. But I shrugged it off and looked in on the tot. She was tearing up the dance floor, as expected, so I walked around the back slowly, sucking in the salty air and the lapping sound of the water out there in all that darkness. I followed around to the other side of the building where a small porch was attached, and there sat the bartender. To my surprise, there in a huddle stood that little group of overgrown fraternity brothers, minus their sorority counterparts.
I Could Hear the Occasional Expletive
And a bit of off-color laughing—the typical fair—as I picked up a glass of wine. “Take a look,” one of the men said and by my peripheral vision I saw he held up his phone toward the group, “Just don’t tell my wife.”
A new motorcycle, maybe? That boat he’s always wanted, or just dreamed up from within a mid-life crisis? Or maybe something entirely pure—a gift, or an unexpected getaway for his wife?
I had to walk by that huddle of men to get to the doors anyway, so as I did, I spoke from behind them.
“Don’t worry, right now I don’t even know who your wife is.”
A hush went over the group. All eyes turned toward me in a conspiratorial sort of way. Or, maybe it was a guilty sort of way. The awkward silence lingered.
It should be noted here that I meant that statement entirely as a joke. I genuinely thought there was something relatively innocent on that phone screen. But, being strangers, they were not aware of the fact that I am joking all the time. It never stops. I’ve been known to joke while crying. Unfortunately for them, I have also been known to say things in jest without sounding at all like I am jesting.
And it was at this moment that I had an idea. Weddings are very common, and I already own those stilts and that dress that will need to be dry cleaned. I could show up and look for those fraternity types—the ones that look like they really need stimulants to have a good time; those ones that uphold themselves in a formal way but are clearly still searching for something; the ones that are looking for the never-ending party.
And there I would be, with the innocent face and a step that can’t be heard over all the booming of those speakers.
A career with real potential: Blackmail