by Cecilia Woloch

Mistaking me for someone else, he asked me to marry him. This has
happened more than once. The first time, I was eighteen and the boy had
a diamond ring in a box. It was the Fourth of July, it was dark, he said, Happy
Independence Day. Of course, the ring was too large and slipped right off
my finger into the grass. (It belonged to someone else: the woman he
married, eventually.) And when I was twenty-one, that redhead, sloe-eyed
and slinking out of his grief, said he'd imagined I'd be his wife. But he was
mistaken. It wasn't me. Then a drunk who drove too fast, who threw the
proposal over his shoulder like some glittering, tattered scarf. I staggered
out of his car, saying, No thanks, No thanks, No thanks. And the man over
eggs one morning, in the midst of an argument, saying he planned to wait
for spring to ask for my hand, then he never asked. (So of course, I married
that one for a while; spent years convincing him I was not his cup of coffee,
not his girl.) And in Prague, on a bridge called the Karlův Most, a stranger,
a refugee, who mistook the way I stared at the river for thinking of suicide.
Who mistook my American passport for his ticket out of there. And
others-the man whose children grabbed the food off my plate, called me
her; the man in Chartres Cathedral humming the wedding march into my
ear. And tonight, at dinner with friends, happy, discussing their wedding
plans, a man I've known for a couple of hours turning to ask me to marry
him. I don't know who they think I am. Do I look like a bride in these rags
of wind? Do I look like the angel of home and hearth with this strange green
fire in my hands?


  1. Dearest Distracted,


    My friend here is Yucatán told me that she told her husband she wasn't wearing a "marry me" sign when they met every time he had a conjugal complaint! She's so refreshing!


  2. They cling...They always find each other. The therapists warn against forming relationships with the others until the 28 days is over and they go back to "real life".
    This type never listens. And could she wear underpants? They follow her home as mysteriously as stray cats. She tells her friends she didn't coax them...But her fingers smell of fish...


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