Posted by: normanlgreen | March 25, 2012

Dream, March 25, 2012 multi-level theme wedding


Dream, home, 9:12 am

Early on a bright morning, I am called to deliver materials to a meeting hall. Once a supermarket, the space has been subdivided and the ceilings dropped to 8 foot. Long tables arranged in column are mostly filled with people who have come for a multi-level-marketing meeting – the sort where more attention is given to recruiting salespeople than to how the product is useful and salable. Though I am to deliver printing, I feel compelled to attend – several of the folks there have invited me in the past, so if I stay, I can feel I have fulfilled many obligations.

The presenter for the morning meeting holds up a three-foot by four-foot print which has been mounted to a rectangle of fome kore. He declares his admiration for way the colors have been adjusted. He credits my oldest son for the work, but advises that it may not be able to replicate the pallet.

The table directly in front of the podium is empty. The speaker asks that some of the attendees in the back shift to that position. As we do so, many of us leave the area to attend a double wedding. The party gathers in the back corner of the space. I join the exodus and wait in line with others more closely connected to the wedding party. I see an attorney who I know, a tall barrel chested man. He is an uncle to one of the two brides. He tells of a new diet that his doctors have assigned to him. I look at his once healthful face. He is jaundiced, almost green, and his left temple is deep as though it were scooped out and then patched over. Down in the temple is a carcinoma with white flaking edges.

A voice calls the first wedding party through a door that opens into a corridor. The attorney leaves with most of the guests. A tall young lady stands immediately in front of me in line. She wants to talks, so asks me if I know who she is. I confess that I do not. “I’m Ashley, you know, Ashley, the bride.” I tell her that I am pleased for her and that the groom is a lucky man. She explains that her friend is having the first wedding, because it is simpler. Admittedly, her friend’s groom is on the other end of a telephone connection – serving overseas. “they will probably do it again, when he gets back.”

Ashley’s has planned a themed wedding, based upon TV movies from the 1970’s. It is to be very complicated in costuming and timing of events and in replicating a period of which she has no direct memory. I am concerned that it is so detailed in her mind, that it cannot possibly come off as she imagines it. She bends her fingers and holds her hands before my face – wants me to hold them. As I look up into her freckled face, I gently take her hands and she begins to sway back and forth – will she lose her balance? A TV blinks to life and some grainy footage shows on the screen. Scenes that belong in the Streets of San Francisco play on the set. A superimposed title appears “Ashley’s Wedding” in orange letters. The bride has had the film specially made. I compliment her on her accuracy to the period. Her voice sound sleepy, as though a drug is kicking-in. Though she is a quarter taller than I, she climbs onto my back – needs to be carried and has adopted me for a temporary father. Thin as a rail, she barely registers as a strain on my back. I take her outside and carry her up a hill – it is now late afternoon. Trees line the street we travel, and at the top of the hill, there stands an old two-story schoolhouse, with an overgrown yard to the side closes to us. Her groom and his best man come around the corner carrying a single golf club apiece. Ashley explains that the golf game is actually part of the wedding ritual. The groom looks like a nice young man – too young to marry, I judge. He and his friend take no notice of us, and move into the scrubby lot. They swing their clubs and a cloud of colorful, hollow plastic balls fly away from their strikes. Ashley has me turn back toward the building from which we came. A yellow school bus filled with old relatives passes us. Ladies in black head scarves shout at us through the open windows. I call back that it is an old Ukrainian custom for the bride to be carried to the church. If it is, I had not heard of it before this moment.

We enter a stone church dating from the early twentieth century. I set Ashley down, and she is taken away by her bride’s maids. I poke around the church and open a pair of doors to a section of the second floor which has not be restored to its original appearance – instead it suffers from a remodel of the middle 1970’s – alternating colored chairs of lime green and lemon yellow. I think these might actually fit in with Ashley’s vision.

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