Reality-1, Fantasy-0

It’s a strange and hostile land. You’re cautious but untroubled. Sounds of unknown things growl and scurry beyond the murky distance. Menace lives in every shadow and dark place. Yet you wear confidence like a second skin. What ever this place holds you know you’ll handle it. Something is coming. You can hear it getting closer with a whooshing pop. Suddenly a geyser of fire jets up next to you setting flame to the dress of the girl next to you.
Without missing a beat you snatch her away from the gout of flame and beat the fire from her clothing.
Eyes wide and breathing quickly see fixates on the wisps of smoke curling up from her scorched dress. Cool and un-rattled, you give her a wry smile saying, “That was an adventure.”
You are the Dread Pirate Roberts. (from Princes Bride)

Yeah, as much as I like to imagine I’m that guy… I’m not that guy.
Calm, cool, and collected. Confident under pressure. Doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘stress’. Not even close. At least, not these days. I can give you the meaning, origin, and Latin root of the word ‘stress’. Heck, I’m a fricken walking dictionary for words like ‘tense’, ‘suspense’, ‘nervous’.

Okay, I’m not always that bad. Everyone’s got their limit. When I’m under my limit I laugh in the face of danger. I smirk at doom.
Not these days. I’m so far above my limit I can see my house from here. Heck, I can see your house from up here.
Birds Eye View of Toronto, Canada

This time, though, I’m not a basket case over something bad. On the contrary. It’s good. It’s excitement. Although it’s easy to confuse fear, stress, and worry with excitement. They’re both butterflies zooming around inside you. It’s just that sometimes those butterflies have tattoos of skulls and black widows on their arms and carry chainsaws, and sometimes they don’t, but they all can keep you awake at night, be distracting, make you fidgety… you know the drill.

Except for August, every month of the year has a special event. In eight short days, August will leap to the front of the pack with five. Two of them, which you can relate to most easily, are Karen’s arrival, and our wedding.

In light of all of this hand wringing, butterfly zooming, lack of sleep stuff it’s without an ounce of cynicism that I say getting married is not that big a deal to me. Maybe a more accurate way to put it is that it’s not the act of getting married, it’s the ‘who’ I’m getting married to.
I’ve been married before. I was too young the first time. Too blind the second. And I thought I was too jaded for there to be a third.
The jaded part was believing that there was no way there was a woman who was equal to my expectations and believe me, I have a cavalcade of expectations a mile long. I’m pretty sure there’s a marching band in there somewhere.

Well, I was wrong. In fact it’s been the longest incident of being wrong in recorded history, that I know if. It started 30 plus years ago when I let Karen go back to England and on August 14th I’m putting an end to it.

As far as the jittery nerves, excitement, and all of that. The best way to describe it is like being blind for half your life and knowing that in a few days your sight will be given back to you. You and the world around you will still be the same, and yet everything will be fundamentally changed. Almost like you’re being given a new life to live, pre-furnished.

So, while I’d like to think I’m the calm, caviler guy with the easy grin, reality says I look just a bit different.


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