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Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here today, but we are not actually gathered.
For the last six years I’ve known her, she just assumed that I was married.
She’s a regular, we talked about everything, but my spouse never came up?
Her reasoning was that unlike my sibling, I wasn’t that into sports,
and I was more sensitive, and so I could hold down a relationship,
but if that were the case, could I lay claim to Apatow’s film debut?
I was told two years in advance about a destination wedding,
but she claims that I made fun of the name of her significant other,
so I guess I’m no longer invited, and that’s probably for the better.
We’re more on and off friends, and things haven’t remained the same,
but let’s get back to the implication presented by that second sentence.
Is she saying that because I’m Indian, and that’s what’s expected in my culture, or
is it because on the outside she sees someone deserving of a happily ever after?
I’m getting closer to thirty, in twenty-nineteen to be exact, and
I’m told that I’ll get what I want then by the sole girl on my solo path.
She’s real sweet, and has been nothing but nice to a weirdo,
humoring me at every turn, despite old lives never telling new tales.
I keep having visions of a Christmas party in the future, where I show
up to her apartment, and it’s a pleasant surprise because I never do,
and that’s to anywhere, because I’m stuck hanging by the family tree,
doused in the smell of gasoline, and thanking people to come again.
I stand by the fireplace in an obligatory sweater, watching young children open presents,
and on the mantel I can’t help but stare at all of her vacation pictures. I’ve traveled some distance,
but none of those roads led me anywhere but home alone where hometowns were forgotten some.
Her husband’s a great guy who carves the turkey and serves everybody wine.
I don’t know what is about holidays. I’ve wanted a gingerbread house since I was eight.
When people ask me about marriage, I’m quick to respond with twice divorced,
which makes me laugh because of the underlying principle, that one was a fluke,
and two was just a coincidence, and a third couldn’t actually happen again.
Third time’s the charm without the charm of the charmer and charmed is blasphemy.
I think I could honestly live the rest of my life spouting fantasy,
making up stories about my life throughout time like I was Wolverine,
complete with a brief stop in Japan that meant far too much to me, so
let the pendulum swing, let the bridal chorus play, and let me undersleep and overthink.

[Currently listening to Drift.]

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