When a 91-year-old gets the microphone, people listen. It means more when an elder cuts the corner of your challah. He knows things. He knows more than the bride since she was teething; he knows secrets. But when he’s standing there with the mic, he’s not thinking about the one thing you need, or some ominous life secret. He’s envious of everything they don’t know, of new, of having the time to make mistakes. Of fights and make-up sex. Of energy. Of still having people around who knew you when.
During the ceremony MID–okay, Philip–traced letters on my leg, with small sweeps, right above my knee. I couldn’t feel what he was trying to communicate in an alphabet, even when I looked down to watch. I knew what he was writing, without the letters. I knew it without the words, and isn’t that when it’s real? When you love hearing it but don’t need to? I felt lucky to have found a man I didn’t need to talk to, but one whom I couldn’t shut up around. One who cupped my breast to say good morning, who covered my eyes when it was too bright, who let me love him loudly, in front of people. "Yes," I told the wedding guest seated beside me, "we’re together, and I’m so lucky because he’s the love of my life." It’s when I knew I would make a lot of mistakes, and there would be fights and trips to the bathroom in the dark for more toilet paper to blow my nose in. And I’d complain that I couldn’t breathe. And despite it all, I’d just want more. The moments of alphabet and the "wanna bet?"s. It’s nice to imagine I’m 91, so I don’t miss my now.