A Boy On The Road Less Travelled

Dedicated to my Brother and my Sister-In-Law.

No moment in space or time could possibly equate. This was the true moment of clarity, after the bells and whistles evaporated into the atmosphere. Months of organising, re-organising, purchasing, re-purchasing—through the tiring decisions of every minute detail, here they were, standing on the precipice of their happily ever after. 

 The heat was rising rapidly in the soon-to-be smoky climate. The flies were trained for the rapture, swarming through at every opportunity on the dry and relentless breeze. Sweat was soaking through every pore and painting its own design on the groomsmen and bridesmaids. The ranch where the wedding occurred had no phone reception, no opportunity to be distracted by anything except the surrounding wildlife. There they stood, without any semblance of a care in the world—Hell, even the flies couldn’t penetrate them. The ones who love, and the ones who do not, a finer line than most can appreciate. 

 The whole day had gone through like a bullet, the various variables of beauty were in between the stresses and last minute panics, itineraries and shuffling around. Once a wedding day dawns, there is very little that can stop the locomotive from pushing through, with or without success. Yet here they were, unhindered. 

 As the photographers positioned the newlyweds, the groomsmen and bridesmaids limbered behind, some sneakily drinking the first of many, others eating for the first time from a platter being carried by a local waiter running across the field from the reception. I was entranced by how aloof the newlyweds were, staring off onto that road less travelled, that road of genuine affection that too many believe they are on. I recalled the advice I received from the owner of the ranch, a man who had seen so many instances of matrimony and celebration. 

“Remind Him”, he begun, “This day will fly by in an instant. Take a moment before its all over to look around and know its happening. Appreciate that this is his day, cause it won’t come around again if he does it right.” How strange it was to hear such pure advice from someone who should be desensitised to the idea of it all. From someone who would later inform me that he would have to purchase water for the self-contained half million litre tanks if the rain wouldn’t come in the next few days. A man who had every reason to be cynical was giving advice to a cynic with no air of falseness. 

 Throughout the day I had tried to force feed the groom beer and whiskey, hell even a cuban cigar made an appearance. He was all too focussed on the task at hand, not surprising considering the source. I truly thought I was failing. That was, until, the moment they stood on the edge of their road. 

——————————————

 Strange what memories can arise when provoked. I sat with the groom in a whiskey bar with golden doors weeks earlier. Through the jabber on whiskey notes and wedding bells we sampled each and every whiskey that was remotely under consideration. After the brain matter was lubricated (several whiskeys down the road), it was much easier to stir the conversation into matters of the heart. A subject that the siblings always found troublesomely vulnerable. I asked him;

“So, are you worried about after?”

“After?”

“Once the wedding is gone, the honeymoon is over, are you scared of what happens next?”

He laughed.

“Not really.”

“Why?”

For the first time, he didn’t pause.

“I’ll have her.”

——————————————

I don’t think he realised the weight of that statement at the time. The ease in which it escaped his mouth without hesitation. As though his sub conscious took the wheel with his heart riding shotgun. 

 It all culminated into a beautiful moment of clarity. Staring down the unknown road with fear, but no hesitation. He didn’t need a beer and a moment alone to appreciate the events he was in the centre of. The moment he had her by his side, that’s when I think he knew, he wouldn’t be needing a day like this ever again.

 There’s something to be said about a love without pretence. The things that require attention to thrive are often things that have the depth of an infants pool. One reason I have become so cynical in the realm of love is seeing the same patterns emerge time and time again, the cyclical nature of people can be tiresome. Yet, seeing something done properly can warm even the iciest of notions. As I saw them steal glances between the chaos, I didn’t see just another wedding, I see something done right. 

I imagine they walked down this unpaved road with their hands firmly clasped and their attention on each other, and each other alone. The photographers sent the rest of us away as they prepared to pose the newlyweds for their personal shots. I’m no mind reader, but judging from the glances the newlyweds shared throughout the weekend, there was nothing but time for them. The right kind of eyes can see something permeate through any odd. My brother was married to the girl of his dreams, and for the first time in my life, I saw someone become truly fearless in the face of the road less travelled, of the road without definitive conclusion, an adventurous love. 

 As we started to the reception hall I turned back once more to see them. The photographers were bellowing across the field, discussing the poses and frames to use, they danced around them, posing and moulding their designs to the teeth. The clouds were casting themselves over the daylight, the flies still ravishing us all while the dry grass crunched beneath us. The party had truly begun, family and friends from both sides were mixing in a fine state.

Still, all you could see was them, looking into each other. Without a care or worry in the world. 

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