A congregation gathered in Guntersville, Alabama on the day I finally understood “bride.” The doors in the back of the church opened like a veil splitting and the souls in the grand room stood—some jealous of me, me jealous for her. The observers smiled, true joy I am sure. But for them it was only an idea. For me it was the tangible expression of a unified forever, the relinquishment of all non-ordained possibilities. When the preacher asked me to recite the vows, I struggled. the immensity of the moment. Quivering chin, cracking voice, it’s all true; you can ask her. We slipped on rings, lit a candle, kissed for the congregation, and walked out to a Irish jig of celebration. After we stepped through the back doors, I took her into my arms and kissed her truly. I kissed her like no one was watching, though the photographer later presented us with proof to the contrary.
At the reception, Shane grabbed my arm, pulled me aside. “This is the closest you’ll ever get to the fulfillment of the metaphor,” he said. “Understand that, and remember it.”
I do Shane. Really, man.