October 12th, 2012

Memory Speaks

Lucy told Jack more about her great multitude of dear life-long friends, her numerous lovers, her mentors. For the most part she used only first names, as if somehow Jack would know who they were. Joseph, whom she had just alluded to. And Nadine. And Lev. Sid, Mike, Patty, Charlie. And Gloria, Mike, Arthur, and Joseph. And, of course, Mike.

Mike! Her prickly cactus, martinet, marvel. Her marlinspike, her darling boy! Since the departure to the Philippines of her husband, Charles, and even long before that, Mike was a truly important part of her life. She was a bridesmaid at Mike's first wedding, to Lizzie, at Lu Shu, his mother's country home, and she remembered the flower-banked altar in the sunken garden, and Lizzie’s gown. It was ivory satin with a close-fitting bodice, and a long veil of heirloom rose point and Brussels lace, which of course was worn decades earlier by her great-grandmother, Mrs. Longworth Carter.

She remembered Lizzie’s bouquet, too. A collection of camellias, gypsophilla, and bouvardia. The bridesmaids wore white taffeta with coronets of pink roses. Now, Mike was present at her wedding to Harry, sonny’s father, at the chantry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, on Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street, in New York. Her gown was ivory-colored taffeta with a bodice finished with a heart-shaped neckline edged with heirloom rose point lace. Interesting, isn't it? That Lizzie copied it three years later? Guess who caught her bouquet? Mike, of course. Why? Well, to show the bridesmaids how to do it.

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