Tuesday, September 29, 2009

6 AM

photo by: Scott Braidman

It is the early morning of my wedding. My sister shifts beside me. I ask if she is awake, but she doesn't stir again. I roll over, pulling and pushing my eyelids to reach one another, but they refuse, popping open like compressed springs. I recite the alphabet and count fat sheep as they hobble over my mind’s makeshift picket fence. 

At 7AM, I get out of bed and slip down the stairs to my parents' room. "I'm too excited to sleep!" I whisper. My father chuckles a hoarse, crusty murmur and pulls back the fluffy white comforter. I jump in, feet first. "You're not going to go back to sleep." My mother tells my closed eyes. She's right. I’m going to lay amongst feathers, cotton, familiar skin and morning breath, giggling about the day we are about to turn into memory.

My Wedding Vows

Photo by: Patrick Cummings

I promise to only make promises that I can keep.

I promise to pickpocket moments with pictures and stories.

I promise we will explore and enjoy life as ignorantly as two children in a beached rowboat.

I promise we will make mistakes and eat them anyway.

I promise we will pursue happiness in open fields and on open highways.

I promise to keep you on your toes like a blistered ballerina.


I promise to say inappropriate things.

I promise we will laugh every day, at least once.

I promise we will be dancing every day until the hum of our heart strings eventually fades.

I promise you will be loved every day, even if I forget to say it.

I promise to be as sappy as a maple tree, but as solid as oak.

I promise to make the apartment smell like bacon every now and then.

I promise to hug you hard.

I promise to keep friends with you as well as enjoy solitude with you.

I promise to walk dogs with you and I promise to make babies with you.

I promise to support you like a foundation made of bricks, pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream.
I promise you this because you are the yellow porch light at the end of a dark driveway. Because you take my breath away like bicycling downhill. Because to me, you are the moment a kite catches the wind. You are my Ricky Ricardo, my Buster Keaton, my Frank Sinatra.

You are my husband, Scott, my hubs.
And I promise to love you as long as I live.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Three Days

Tonight, I read him my vows. He stares at me smiling. He reads me his vows and I watch him, weeping.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Cosmetic Store

A skinny slightly scary stranger with a thick coating of makeup on her own face, paints my cheeks and asks,  
"Do you exfoliate?"


"You really need to exfoliate."


"See here, you have some discoloration."

After a half an hour, she brings me to "The Eye Expert."

"Are you sure this is the right foundation for you?"

"I have to exfoliate."

"Oh yeah, yeah you really do, you really need to exfoliate."

"Yeah, she told me."

She paints one eye purple. I look like I have a black eye.

"I'm afraid, the bright purple eye liner with my goldish dress will make me look like a clown."

Oh shit.

"You think I made you look like a clown?"

"No that's not what I mean, I mean the purple and gold colors are clownish. Sometimes. No, I don't think I look like a clown."

"There are going to be pictures of you and if you don't have enough color, you're going to look washed out."

"Ok yeah, I like it."

"What do you want to buy? I don't work on commission, but I think you really need eye cream. What I always say when someone says they don't use eye cream, I say, so you want wrinkles?
At the counter, I am asked if I found everything I was looking for.

"Do you have makeup remover wipes?"

The Taming of the Shrew

With no money, we rehearse. With little money, we find costumes, lights and buy old rickety apple crates. We ask for donations. With some money, we put on the show.

The bugs are sprayed away, the rain hides in far away clouds and the beer is cheep. The cast carries the audience from the barren dirt stage to the streets of post World War II Italy.

After the show, everyone gathered. "I understood it and I never get Shakespeare" is carried from one lightning bug to the next.

Monday, September 14, 2009


We dance in the living room. He leads and I follow. He spins me around and around and around until he can’t take it anymore and lets go of my hand. "Where are you going?" I ask. 

From the bed, he says, "I can't take it, you're so happy and I don't know what to do with it. What if you're never this happy again? It was like I was watching you from a memory. I don't know how to deal with the passage of time."

I lay beside him. "That's why people have cameras. It’s why I like writing. To record memories before I lose them. You need to write songs again."
For two weeks he has been stuffing and squeezing every thought and emotion into a hidden closet and because he didn't tell me where the closet was hidden, I opened it accidentally and everything spilled out at once.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


With terrorized trepidation, I tread through the brush, expecting a bear behind every branch. Branches crack to my left. My eyes roll quietly to look. Oh shit. It's a bear.
It's a fucking brown bear. Why isn't he moving?

He still isn't moving.

WHY ISN'T HE MOVING?  Oh. It's a tree stump. It's a fucking tree stump.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Grocer

An old professor of mine carries his groceries toward me. "Raaaachel, what are you doing here?"

"Working." I say with a smile as I gather paper bags to busy my fidgeting fingers. Obviously.

Three years ago, I graduated and moved to New York City. Three months ago, I moved back to this place where the sky is not interrupted by cement and brick, but by black crows and mountains.

When my professor leaves, I nearly cry from shame, but then I remember that I am happy and this job is temporary.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What a Trooper

photo by: Christina Watka

"We spend millions of dollars putting these 65-mile-an-hour signs up and down the highway... and we expect people to read them." The state trooper states with the slightest of sarcasm. I smile. "Sorry." I say, laughing gently. He thinks the gun on his hilt and the lights on his car make him in charge, but I see what he's doing. He's playing good cop to an imaginary bad cop and he's making me more late for work. "This would have been a $110 ticket." He says, handing me a written warning. "Thank you." I say. Like a peasant, I bow to the queen.