when you see them fall, in pairs, remind yourself to
choose to be happy. do not embitter yourself, so
that their communion wine tastes of vinegar on
your tongue. even if you have to lie, lie lovingly,
and tell them you couldn't be happier.
tell that to yourself, most of all and most often.
repeat it in your mind, over and over.
when they take their vow, think it. when they dance,
mumble it under your punched breath.
when they fly off into the future, breathe it out and in.
make yourself believe it, because
you really do love them, and though your scowling heart
seems to disagree, you want them to find their joy.
and when you return home and take off your tie or
your new dress or your uncomfortable shiny shoes,
you will be tempted to look into your vanity mirror
and ask, what's wrong with you? do not give in to
that dark question, built on lies piled high like rubble
from bombed-out buildings, twisted rebar vines and
dust crowning desolation.
if you evade this deadly snare, you will then be tempted
to ask the next question. "what am i doing wrong?"
redirect this. ask instead, "what am i doing right?" then,
ask, "why must i do anything at all?" let the darkness
stumble to find an honest answer for that one.
remind yourself that there are other, more vital
questions to be asked than "why me?" and "why not me?".
much more serious worries to bear.
much more important Truths to seek, than
who your missing mr. or mrs. is, the one you think you
need to find your peace.
take a breath. listen to only one sad song. then turn your
deft attention to seeking the big questions, and the big
Answers. there's too much to do, and no time to waste
waiting for Darcy or Elizabeth to arrive at your doorstep.
write these words down, and tape them to your mirror.
remind yourself of their truth, every time you receive
that tiny white envelope by post, or see the posted
tidings of friends you've never met yet still feel close to,
or when your friends all seem to bear left-handed
baubles that throw off your emotional balance. in that
dreadful moment, breath the words out and in, like the
scent of lilac. inhale them and hold them in your chest:
your joy is mine also.