Monday, November 26, 2007

A Moment Recalled, Suddenly, Long after it’s Passed

Getting married and hugging your family and friends. Then sending them off to the reception, and staying behind for photos. Because you want to remember. Moments. You want them made visual. You don’t want to rely on yourself to conjure them. You like springboards.

Smiling with your husband; and your husband and your dog; and your husband and your brother, who gave you the marriage. Pictures with other family. The best man and maid of honor. You and your husband and a gnome, because your family likes to keep a joke going.

And then the photographer takes you to the lifeguard tower. She wants you and your husband with the weather-beaten, wooden structure in the background; you don’t yet know that the lifeguard will let you up onto the top, three stories above the coastline.

Walking to the tower, barefoot in soft sand, flowers in one hand and your husband’s hand in the other, you pass a homeless man. You think of your new life, and the welcoming crew who sat in the onshore breeze while you made vows. And you feel optimistic. You feel like the home team, the undefeated boxer, a gambler on a streak. And you look at this man and wonder if he ever had such a support crew. You don’t know, but here’s what you do know: with this man's presence you will never forget what you have, and that it could all rush away like a falling tide.

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