The wedding cake sits uncut in the grand hall. Lights twinkle and dance around the room, through gold streamers hanging from the ceiling.
But on my wedding night I find myself conversing with myself. Only myself. Those thoughts not worth sharing, or too personal, or too embarrassing to share. With friends or anyone else. Age has never been a hindrance to me. Nor would I let it be tonight. Not wearing (dad)-blue jeans and New Balance shoes with a hoodie stamped with my daughter’s college. Not ravaged by divorce, or bittered by tragedy, or lost completely in the unending march of time.
That is not me.
But she, my beautiful 19-year-old bride, so pure in white, glowing so earnestly in the center of the room. Still young enough to understand that you must give off light, not reflect it.
Most people have none.
She, so young, is willing to be my wife out of the innate respect that come from connection; the deep feeling inside that transcends milieu, that should be called love (though, certainly not of the natural, meet-cute kind Hollywood would have us create from dreams and fantasies).
And I, myself, being the only person with whom I can discuss it.
I have no desire to be… used up?
Not at all.
Well one might think that it isn’t really their choice. Time has a funny way of taking everything from you, including your youthful vigor. If I might be so bold?
Focus not on how you might stay young. Focus instead on who you are no matter what your age.
I am seventeen years her senior. She was just born as I was graduating from high school.
But this shouldn’t matter. Isn’t age only a number?
It is culture. It is point of view. It is the world through different eyes, and eyes on different faces.
But no one else’s view should affect my own. Should affect us.
There is light spilling over the crowd, spreading across domed ceilings and into tall glasses of champagne lined in rows across white tablecloths. She is dancing, somewhere in the midst of it all; in the midst of a thousand faces, a thousand hands in the air, the smell of perfume, the sounds of joy untouched.
We spent Valentine’s Day after-hours in a bookstore, just the two of us, with one candle, a bottle of wine, a pizza.
We’ll spend our wedding night under the stars of Guadalajara, drinking too much, talking too much, and then falling asleep so peacefully sound that not even the calls of wild animals around us will disturb our dreams.
And until the end of time we’ll laugh together. We’ll run through forests and fields. Go to concerts and plays. Have nothing but sweets in life. Cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. Whenever we like. Forever.