At The Palms


we came back from the beach, carrying the empty bottle of tequila, the unused sun tan lotion, the wet towels, the radio.
there was a wedding about to start on the outdoor patio of our hotel. the stairs to our room were blocked by a man in a dark suit and dark sunglasses.

he’d have moved, of course, but I didn’t feel like asking, and he didn’t offer.
that’s how life works sometimes.

so, not thinking clearly, we stepped into the pool, instead. and swam. and swam. and swam.
and on the patio, people seated in white slat chairs at the wedding, waited, waited for the bride, waited for cake, waited for someone to kick us out of the pool, but no one did. they all watched us swim, though, as if we were the opening act.
the sun fell too. that was the other nice part.

two security guards stood on the lip of the pool, arms crossed, watching us swim.
“come in,” i said, “water’s perfect.”
not even a smile.

candles flickered. palm trees swayed. a golden moon rose over the hotel.

that’s when the Wagner began, a small girl with an orange cello. and the bride proceeded past the pool, to the waiting crowd. and a hush was spread across the peninsula

my wife and I bobbed in the deep end. humming along.

then we noticed the groom, with his white lily pinned to his tan tuxedo. he looked bullet proof. and the bride made it all the way across the flickering patio, and the Wagner stopped.

the priest began to talk, as priests are known to do, but we could not hear the priest.
so we swam again. slow laps. slow doggie paddle.

it didn’t take long. the ceremony ended. a big kiss.
we clapped too.

“sooner or later, the whole wedding will wind up in this pool,” my wife said.

“they’d be crazy not too.”

“they’ll jump right in, in their suits and everything.”

“and the bride in her gown.”

“and the security guards’

“all of them.”

“it’d be horrible luck not to do that.”


the DJ put party music on. my wife and I started to dance in the pool. the air cooled off outside and the water felt warmer. and warmer and warmer. but no one came in the pool with us. imagine that.
we danced all night in the pool, the wedding happening on the patio. us in the water, never getting out. and then the wedding ending. and the music ending. and the moon past the center of the horizon and going back down into the sea. and us still swimming and dancing and laughing.

me pissing, and her pissing, I’m sure.

happiest, of anyone in florida.


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