…the weather was unseasonably hot, even for the South. Looking at the almanac now it appears the high temperature on that day wasn’t a record, but I confess that I was fooled. Perhaps being stuffed into a suit in an antebellum mansion had something to do with my perception. Perhaps being the focus of dozens of people’s attention as I waited for the appointed moment affected it as well. It’s hard to say at this point, imperfect memory being the only source I can draw upon. All I know now is that it felt like the hottest day of May I’ve ever experienced.
That day, I was surrounded by friends as I took a giant step forward. That night, we threw a party that people still talk about.
A lot has happened in the intervening years. Some of the people who were there with us have gone on to whatever comes after all this. Others have moved on to locales less ethereal but no less distant. I’ve traveled the country and met hundreds if not thousands of new people, a small number of whom I can count among my friends. Somehow I’ve made the transition from being an online-only scribe to being one whose words also appear in print. Along with 300-million-plus other people, I’m now paying for a third war – a few metaphorical, yet no less costly, wars notwithstanding – to go with the two we were putting on our charge account at the time. And of course, the Rapture has freshly come and gone.
Most of the time it feels like this isn’t even the same world it was in 2004. There is, however, one thing that’s still exactly the same: I have the privilege of living my days and nights beside the same woman who said “I do” that sweltering day in May. Let all the other things change as much as they will, as long as I get to hold on to that.