12: Nuptials

All of the crinoline and crushed toes in shoes. Cheeks aching from elation on demand. Cake and champagne, abandoned and forgotten. Forks tapping glass: a voyeuristic custom. All of the zippers and schedules and speeches. Shaking hands, microphone amplified. Flowers dying slowly enough to retain their beauty, even after being sliced from the root. Bobby pins and hairspray, mascara and tweezers. Armies of minutiae, armed in precision and organized to the hour, to the minute, marching into celebratory war. Into rapid-fire memory and photo gloss. Lipstick on a napkin, the last guest's kiss. Bags and shoes and bras, trunk slams and hotel keys. And it's over. Months of preparation for a day in time. One precious day.