Pashmina! Pashmina! It was what everyone at the wedding was talking
I thought pashmina was a bird, or a new form of polka. I had worn a
paper doily spoked with crows' feathers in my hair, thinking it would
make me act like a person I would rather be. But girls from high school
complimented its "originality." I proffered select tidbits of
celebrity gossip I had invented, and which these girls tittered about,
and then mid-tidbit I ran out of juice.
I stood alone in a line of husbands in gunshot-wound boutonnieres while
they stared at asses on their telephones. All of the husbands were
doctors, somehow. All of the husbands were idiots. I was worse, like
Odysseus: I could not get drunk enough and danced nastily with a
younger brother because I wanted so badly for this gesture to cause my
Somewhere, I knew, Boyfriend was burning meat or watching a vulgar
sport, which made me glad for and disappointed in his happiness. I had
not made an announcement. I did not call him husband.
Boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend I kept saying as I told the crowd how
he'd lost half his face climbing a mountain he hadn't climbed.
The truth was, the one I loved would fit in here just fine. Later I'd
stumble down pitch black hallways in search of our bed. I wouldn't feel
the papercut, even as my ear gushed blood.
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