The Elopement

Her moth-eaten wedding veil (and her hair too) flaps in the wind. The windows are down, and I ask her if she’d like me to roll them up. But she’s not that kind of girl.

We drive down the cracked road, damaged by harsh winters. We pass an empty fridge-and-oven store on the way (it was family owned—the Carlisles, I think). And then the cemetery. The old stones rise from the earth, as a reminder of those who, like us, drove past their future plots. But perhaps in a Ford or a Chevy. Not in one of these new hybrids.

“Turn left here?” I always have to ask, even though we never turn right at this corner.

She nods.

“So what’s going to be our song?” she asks.

This surprises me. I don’t think of her as sentimental like that.

“Let’s say, whatever’s on the radio.”

“But what if it’s a bad song?”

“We’ll pretend we didn’t hear it.”

I turn on the radio.

The strum of a guitar, from a song that I can’t remember the name to, plays for us.

We pass a market.

“On the way back, remind me that we need to stop there for a pound of ground beef and a pack of cigarettes.”

We can’t stop now. We are on our way to get married.