It was the snooze alarm time of her life, and if the only concurrent ambiguity was whether or not to arise, the situation would have been tolerable.
Since the horribly complicated and ultimately unsuccessful birth of her son eight weeks ago, and now the collapse and death of her mother on the way to the reception, caused the total realm of her thinking to shift to an inexplicable macabre funhouse.
The reception should have been cancelled. The most jovial of the one hundred or so tapped their feet to the music that was played at half-mast. The others perfected killing time mannequin-style. Even the champagne bubbles slowed their ascent.
Clint, her husband of two hours, tried pitifully in his inebriated state to administer his best consolation. That equated to draping his ponderous arm around her shoulders with his fingertips resting on her breast while his left hand was involved under the table.
Alone, together, her melancholy rhetoric culminated at the extremes. It’s a time to build up: it’s a time to break down. It’s a time to laugh; it’s a time to weep. A time to win: a time to lose. It’s a time to be born! It’s time to – die. Monica closed her eyes softly and felt the heaviness of her eyelids and the weight on her shoulders. The anachronistic darkness helped reveal the same subjugation imposed on her life.
The confining arm was too burdensome, too confining, and with a shrug it lifted and came to rest next to the neglected whiskey on the whiskey. As readily, her purple cumulus evanesced and her immature reasoning was superseded with a strident verdict – “I can do this!”
She arose and headed toward the bandleader. But instead of traversing the distance in her conventional wrinkled caboose she was the engineer. Within five steps her beautiful hair was cascading down her back. Her left hand was raised as she neared the front of the band. The dulcet melody disintegrated. The guitarist bent down in response to her beckoning index finger.
“Do you guys play rock and roll?” she asked, in a manner that made it perfectly clear that if the answer was ‘No’, they should pack their bags.
“Of course we do. Usually that’s all we play. How loud do you want it?”
“Very danceable – very loud – and if there is one person still sitting, you’re outta here. Now give me the mike and when I point at you – give me your best shot.”
As she turned to face the grand assemblage her fingers coaxed a few strands of hair behind her left ear. She smiled.
“Testing. Thank you all for being here.” She stared at the floor for a moment as the memory of her mother and son returned.
Funny, no words came. A pause did. A missed heartbeat, during which an instantaneous assortment of all her past beliefs occurred. A mental line was drawn. Those that remained above the line were kept. The others were permanently dispelled.
The heartbeats resumed.
“I . . . I just want to say that I have made many mistakes . . . and one of them was marrying Clint. Hopefully that can be annulled, but that‘s not your concern. Right now . . . I want this to be the start of my new life.” She took a deep breath which ignited her cause. “Please join me in its celebration.”
She did a 180°, pointed, and yelled, “Hit it!”
The pick went south, the bass drum recoiled – and the place rocked. She walked directly over to what looked like the most eligible and handsome dude there, grabbed his left wrist and headed back to the dance floor. Every problem and negative thought she ever knew, was gone.
The dance floor populated immediately. She shared a hug, high-five or other form of elation with each person that came close. The music’s volume buoyed every spirit as all shared in the joy of her emancipation. Monica’s tears fell on her smiling lips as the magic of the moment went off like fireworks.
From dilettante, to experiencing the best life has to offer – in just an instant of belief. Her incredulity topped the charts.
Shortly thereafter, the corner of her eye noticed that Clint was being escorted out the door. Someone akin to Monica had reported a drunk and disorderly. The police happened to be right outside.
Two days later, the undertaker noticed an apparent pregnancy that ultimately prompted an autopsy. Sure enough – and it seemed Clint had a little something to do with that also. The annulment came quickly.