“The Psychedelic Wedding” by Angel Uriel Perales

Everybody attended, my entire family, to witness this spötterei of love, my enduring humiliation, the sad little wedding fiasco. They came far from exotic places such as Puerto Rico, and they came from closer corners of the nation such as Florida and California. Monies were spent on my behalf. Vacations rearranged. Wedding gifts bought. 

What could not be ignored was that my fiancee’s half of the church was aghast at the jibber-jabbering polyglot emanating from my side. And my side was tense and concerned at the consternation emanating from her side. The swollen week was culminating into a calamitous crescendo of clusterfuck proportions.

My friends were there as well. The happily married ones, the bitter divorcees, the laughing bachelors. I swear they were placing bets, gambling on the longevity of our commitment. An ex-girlfriend walked in late, attracting attention. She had tempted and tested my amorous resolve two weeks previous, the siren, the hussy siren, and then simply looked winded, patulous, almost dyspneal in the wake of my rejection.

The preacher was rote, the kiss of little note, and a psychedelic sheen began to transform all the colors surrounding me as I tried to keep anxious sweat from stinging my eyes. Her father openly wept, mine was thin-lipped and pale. And some crazy lyric from Crowded House got stuck in my head: …in the paper today tales of war and of waste but you turn right over to the TV page…

And I looked at my bride, looked at my bride and assured myself that I loved her more than anything in the world. I did love her unsoundly, without boundaries, away from those that still sought to define us. Some time into our courtship we had surpassed ourselves, our painted backgrounds, our inherent fears, even all our influential atmosphere, and we merged into an indescribable and frightening intimacy, panoptic, bringing me hope indefatigable. She accepted and desired me and all I could feel was inexhaustible hope. And the rest of the song fell into place in my head: …they come to build a wall between us. We know they won’t win…

But as the old adage proves true, when you marry, you marry the whole family. Shortly after returning from the honeymoon to our new house, the marriage was over. 52 days, as a matter of punctilious fact. 52 days before the house of cards crumbled. I object! Protesta! The deck was stacked. Then the deck was shuffled. Somebody marked the jokers. My joker has a curled devil’s tail and is holding his gut from laughing so hard. Her joker sits turned away with her face in her hands, a box of tissue by her side. The game was a sham, Your Honor, and we demand our loss of honor returned. Duly noted, Valentinus, and denied.