A Scratch at the Door

No more teaching. Taught my last class Friday and aside from a bit of grading and a final to give on Wednesday, I'm home and I'm free. I went to a spin class this morning, and spin classes are so much more incognito than running. Even though there are other spinning souls all around, it feels like it's just me, the darkness, loud music, pouring sweat, and a bicycle that can't get run over by a car or land in a river. (I'm afraid of real bikes, which is understandable since I really did ride into a river once. Okay, okay, it was more like a stream. But still.) I also wrote today, which is nothing short of a miracle, considering how little I've done it this semester. It may be bad luck, but I can't resist sharing this bit here. It's about my wedding day and it made me happy to write it. Since we kept attendance to family, a lot of you weren't there. I hope you enjoy a peek at it. Warning: I do have two short paragraphs that take place at the hotel, but I assure you they are not scandalous. (Not really, anyway.)

Here goes:

It was 3 in the afternoon on the day I got married and I was bored. The ceremony wouldn’t start until 7 and I’d already done everything but the actual marrying. I spent a good chunk of time sitting backwards on an overstuffed chair in my parent’s living room, my head near the floor and my feet pointing at the ceiling. I could feel the blood puddle in my head. This helped pass the time.

Later, waiting for the ceremony to start, I sat right side up in a rocking chair and the skirt of my dress was up around my shoulders, it was that fluffy. My sister took a picture of my flip-flopped feet, of my serious face looking up out of a cloud of fabric.

Then it was quiet outside. It was just me and my nieces in the room. They were holding the back of my dress and I was holding a bouquet, trembling, near the door so I could answer it when Sam knocked.

But he didn’t knock. He scratched on the door like a cat, which is what he did when we were dating and he came to pick me up. I was laughing when I turned the knob, and I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when he saw me. He said later that the sight of me was “foot-warming” as in, he had cold feet until I opened the door.

And so he grabbed my hand. And so we walked to the bishop. And when it got to the part where he asked Sam if he was willing, Sam said, “Absolutely.”

When I tell myself the story of that day, I remember two details immediately: he scratched at the door, and he said absolutely. This is why I married Sam. In a way, those two details say it all.

Later that night, in our room at The Grand America, we ordered room service. At midnight, at a portable table in the middle of the sitting room, wearing a purple nightie and a complimentary robe, I ate French fries and a sandwich and felt royal.

One other memory of that hotel room: In the morning we showered and bathed at the same time. He showered; I took a bubble bath. Let me live to a hundred and I might forget “Absolutely,” but I won’t forget sitting in that tub, looking at his body through the glass wall of the shower, knowing he could see my body. When the glass fogged, he fingered out odd, indecipherable messages and I looked at him through the letters. I called him a strange man, then leaned back to wash out the conditioner, looked at the ceiling, feeling like this was the big time.


Mike and Emily said…
Lovely. Lovely lovely lovely.
Amara said…
Loved the writing. I wish I could say something original, but nothing comes to mind. I just liked it.
eden said…
i'm with amara. nothing original, but i liked it. a lot.

thanks for sharing.
Annie said…
That is beautiful. I love your writing!

and the scratching the door thing just kills me! I can't blame you for marrying the guy!
Spencer G said…
I would also like to mention that I very much enjoyed reading this. Very much indeed, Deja, my dear. Very much indeed.
belann said…
We walked by Eden's house yesterday on Porter Rockwell trail. Couldn't help but think of you in the chair, and the happy Sam. Also, thought of the rain and the lovely wind that held off just till it was over.
you are such a wonderful author. I love it!
and the scratching is so funny, I do that to Lily's door before I open it after her naps. She calms right down and is giggling as I reveal myself.
Genevieve Beck said…
Loved this entry and hope you enjoy a peaceful long summer especially with Europe involved! I really like the "absolutely."
k. double-u. said…
I feel happy that you wrote. Keep writing.

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