It’s a golden fall Friday afternoon. The trees outside the window of my office are butterscotch yellow, their tiny leaves silently fluttering to the sidewalk below from on-their-way-to-bare branches.
And I want to write about it.
The work day is nearly over; after every rumble of the train — I can see it between houses and hear it if I listen closely — there’s a moment of quiet, followed by the turnstile clink of worker bees flooding out of the station, through the alley and fanning out toward home.
I love this time of day, especially now that the sun’s started going down earlier and a chill has worked its way into the air. I love this time of year.
And I want to write about it.
I brought my little paper journal out to the front stoop, which is actually nothing more than a single concrete step leading into the vestibule, my journal and a Schlafly Pumpkin Ale. I can’t believe I planned my entire wedding without writing about it. (The fire-tongued Facebook rants and endless hive-mind queries added up to a lot of words in the end, but I never wrote about my wedding.)
I have designs on writing a series of posts called the “Belated Bridal Blog,” and it’ll happen if it takes me until my 10-year anniversary. I’ve already scrawled four topics on a random middle page of the journal. I didn’t write about that wedding, but damn if I don’t have a few things to say about it.
I will write about it.
As Mark’s cousin did for me after her own wedding the first weekend in October, I passed the bridal torch to another friend about as soon as I could — 4 p.m. Sunday, from what I can remember.
Bridal never really suited me. All weekend, I muttered to myself, “I have no idea how to act right now.” Thrilled as I was to be marrying the man I’d spend the better part of 30 years looking for without even knowing it, most of the time I wanted to sit alone, eating Thai food and bingeing on crappy TV until I fell asleep. (Don’t worry! I got to do that on Monday night.)
I wasn’t surrounded by bridesmaids that day; I wasn’t having my hair curled, teased, pinned and sprayed into submission. There were no Bridezilla-caliber fits; my only tears the day of the wedding came upon finding out one of my most-anticipated guests could no longer attend that night.
I’ve been too old to be the giddy, blushing bridal ingenue for about 20 years, but I guess I had everyone fooled that night: I sipped champagne, smiled effortlessly for the camera(s) and twirled around on the dance floor, stepping on my train and eventually ripping off my displaced birdcage veil, until the DJ played our last song and the lights came up.
As I write this, my phone is blowing up with text messages from my friend now carrying the bridal torch: She’s getting ready to leave for her rehearsal, the start of the wild rumpus that is The Wedding Weekend.
God, I want to write it all.
Each sip from my bottle on the stoop is spicy and sweet, my idea of pumpkin-beer perfection, and I’m buzzed after the first swig. A woman headed home from work walked by as I was setting up outside, gesturing toward my setup — laptop, journal, half-empty beer — and nodding her head as she said, “I so approve of everything happening here.”
As I talk myself down from my most recent self-doubting bout of “How in God’s name am I supposed to start writing again, after all this time?” I can say I approve, too.