drumroll, please.

I never go to weddings.

I'm not, like, morally opposed to them or anything. I think they're a pretty big deal. I just...never go.

I guess I do when it's family. My cousin got married a few weeks ago, and I went then. But I left as soon as I could, grateful to have the excuse of a work shift on a Saturday night half an hour's drive away. That one's easier to understand, though. I don't need a hundred questions from distant relations about the weight I've put on and the bylines they never see in print (because evidently the Internet doesn't work in Arizona) and, most of all, why I haven't had one of "these" yet.

But I don't go to non-family weddings, either. Plenty of men in their late twenties see reception attendance as a chore, but I honestly don't think I'm one of them. You get to wear a suit, for one thing. You get to see pretty girls in dresses, for another. There's cake, and there's dancing, and if the happy couple have any taste at all there's a live band playing jazz, which is the only thing you should dance to in a suit anyway.

Part of it is my schedule; I know I'm simply not available most nights (and, consequently, sleeping most mornings), so I don't bother asking when the blessed event is. Part of it is that, these days, I don't have many friends about whose nuptials I would give a crap. (The ones I did care about have long since passed, along with our friendships.) And yes, one cannot rule out a healthy dose of envy, a dislike of the reminder that they know something I never have, and that the money line isn't exactly trending in my favor.

You want to know the real reason?

I want to meet her there.
I want to catch her looking at me across a crowded chapel or ballroom or pavilion.
I want to walk over to her, and ask her name, and ask her to dance.
I want to hear "My One and Only Love" emerge from a saxophone, sweet and breath-filled, as I take her hand.
I want my feet to be light, and her eyes to shine, and the world to slow, to shimmer, a crystalline memory, imperishable, coruscating, lustrous, clear.

I want that more than I can say.

And that's why I don't go.

blue july.

I left home in a rainstorm
one I've needed for a while
to wash away these sunny days
and let me hide my smile
So I put on my jacket
and I slipped into my shoes
the dark gray clouds I praised aloud
for giving me the blues

This morning I was lied to
by someone I'd never met
and even though I let it go
I can't seem to forget
'cause I can't help my nature
wouldn't try to if I could
In rain or sun, I'll be the one
don't matter if I should

I hit the highway late tonight
and met the open road
the music played, and Lord, how I prayed
as the moon above me glowed
when suddenly before me
I saw the sweetest sight
two lovers there in the summer air
were kissing their goodnight

I couldn't keep from smiling
though sharp and true the pain
it's been so long since I felt that strong
but I'll feel that way again
and I can keep on waiting
'cause I got nothing to lose
and darling, I will thank July
for giving me the blues