All I Want Is You, Part II
“If it feels like I’m leaning on you to keep from passing out, I am.”
I am standing beneath an ivy-covered trellis adjacent to the Inn at Brays Island.
I am wearing a navy blue, two-button Versace suit; a pinpoint cotton, spread collar, French-cuffed Charles Tyrwhitt shirt; a navy, periwinkle and brown diagonally striped Luigi Borrelli tie, and Joseph Aboud wing-tips.
My right hand is resting on Bo’s shoulder, my left on Sibby’s. My family is jostling around me, all of us in some sort of stunned, awed, overwhelmed silence.
The strings begin “Clair De Lune.” My mother tears up.
“Do you know what song this is, honey? Your grandfather loved that song.”
“Do I know what song it is?” I laughed. “I’m the Music Director, mom. I picked it.”
She kisses my cheek and smiles as Chris — with a squint and grin in my direction — leads her down the aisle.
The aisle, as it were, is one-hundred feet of fierce green grass leading to a giant, Spanish moss-strewn Live Oak in the center of the Inn’s great lawn.
Before the tree in two sections of eight rows of eight seats each, some 109 guests’ necks are craned in my direction.
The sun has broken through the rain clouds, and is casting silver and gold diamonds on the now-cerulean waters of the Pocotaligo River.
Bo, who is humming “Claire d’ Lune,” squeezes my hand, and sets off down the aisle. He reaches the alter — a thicket of mulch and palm fronds at the base of the tree — and the music stops.
A lone cello begins the bass line of Badly Drawn Boys’ “The Shining.” I pause — waiting for the counter-melody two bars in — take a deep breath, and begin walking down the aisle…
Shoulders back. Slowly. Smile. Eye contact. Slow down. Oh my God the river looks amazing. The sky is so blue. There’s Ron! And Tony! Fish! Slow down. Smile. Uncle Jim. Don’t trip. Dad. Hey Dad. Holy shit, that’s my Dad. And I’m getting married!
I am standing between Bo and Chris, the live oak — as thick and wide as a Volkswagen — to our backs. I look towards the cellist and wink just as the last notes of my accompaniment fade into the sound of the wind through the tree.
The temperature is 87 degrees. The humidity is 100%.
I reach into my back pocket and wipe my forehead with the color-coordinated Paul Smith hanky Abbi slipped under my door in the night.
The strings begin again, and Jennifer points Ethan and Edward in our direction. Ethan’s reddish-blond bangs are spit-styled to perfection, curling across his forehead like some Botticelli cherub. Ethan stares at his shoes. He holds his brother’s hand in his right, our rings in his left. Edward, still new to walking, veers off a bit, but is course corrected by his brother. I choke up — somewhere between tears and laughter — as they approach. Chris steps forward. Ethan hands him the rings. There isn’t a straight face or a dry eye among us.
The music stops.
All eyes turn towards my wife-to-be….