Notes on a Friend’s Wedding

I was going through a long divorce when I wrote this, but had been dating off and on for a couple of years since my ex- had left. Style was the nickname of a friend who I met on a chat site and became “dating buddies” with; we never dated but we supported each other and told each other funny stories about the bad dates.

Her comment on her wedding day was “This is kind of your fault, you know.”

I’m still a sappy idealist at heart, for all my cynicism.




(for Style, December 2004)

Halloween weekend
walking around with your kids;
taking them for a long hike in the woods
to give the two of you some privacy;
Sunday morning
passing around a book of poetry
and the five of us taking turns reading aloud.

My own wedding
thirteen years ago next month
mouse puppet in the pocket of my suit
roads flooded,
wondering which guests would show
wondering why I was doing this.

Almost two years ago
in a chatroom,
both of us dating other people:
talking with you for the first time
staying up late talking about
why men are all kinda crazy,
and friends from then on.

Your kids smiling in Halloween costumes
Harry rubbing your back by the sink
You bringing out glass chips to design something for him
You in the basement, giving me a t-shirt
Harry pumping up the bike tires
Sara reading her story to me
Sam feeding the dogs
Cutting up food for barbecue
Car accident in the rain on the way to the fair

I’m so used to talking on AIM with you
but tonight I’m away from home,
writing on a friend’s computer.
We talked so much about transient relationships
in such a transient medium
that it’s hard to think of permanence.
We had so many broken relationhips between us
that it’s hard to think of permanence.
But we always thought of permanence,
even from the beginning.
Forever creeps up when you’re not looking
pokes up its head behind you
clears its throat (you jump)
bows elegantly
and announces itself:
I’m forever; I’m the one
you’ve been waiting for if you can
wait a little longer until I clear up some loose ends.
Later that night you’re telling me about forever online
and soon we’re acquaintances,
forever and I, me a little guarded
making sure forever is treating you well.

This is forever.
Well, what are you waiting for?

Nights in love
looking for forever
and talking with friends for hours.
Friends forever.

A toast:
me holding up a glass at your wedding
to friends and to forever.


Copyright © 2004 by Leigh Grossman