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  • Walking down the aisle. The slim coolness of my dress. Being the absolute center of attention is suddenly not frightening. Everything is happening so quickly. He squeezes my hand and I am surprised at how small his hand is. He is shorter than I remember, too. Has he shrunk? Is this the right man? I stumble, or something, and we both laugh - we are lost in happiness together. It must be the right man, he has the right laugh. Of course I cannot see his face.

    Flash backward to a few days before the wedding. I can't get married. I don't love him.

    Flash forward to the night of the wedding. I have not married the man with the right laugh after all, but James in his towering self. He went to his house after the ceremony. I was to meet him there. The pressure in my mind is immense. Sex. I know there will have to be sex; he expects it. It's a horrible idea. What have I done? How could I have failed to think this through? I know my choice is to lie to myself or to ruin a sweet man.

    I find things to keep my hands busy, do not answer the phone. I think of my body and tell myself it's because I am ashamed of myself, when really I know I would never want to be naked with this man. I consider telling him I'm on my period. I try to call him with a multitude of lies but automatically dial Pete's number instead. He laughs at me. He is happy for me; I try to feel what he is feeling.

    I think about how it will be to tell people I'm divorced. Maybe I will just leave that part out, never acknowledge that this mistake ever happened. We nevr consummated, the paperwork will be easy. He will be so disappointed.

  • The corner of my parents' house collapses and my dad would know how to fix it but he is dead. A fine snow is falling. The house is freezing. I go out with a shovel and try to heap up dirt to block the hole, keep the wind out. I know Dad would fuss at me for taking crucial soil from that quick-eroding slope. My pile of dirt works and I cover it with a tarp and go inside. My mother is grateful.

    Everything is half-painted. Projects my father started before he died. "Just try and find paint to match what he mixed," I tell my mother. "You'll have to paint over the whole thing."

The Carlosian Dream Project

Part 1

Darkness.

Darkness everywhere.

Baron Carlos is alone, and confident, in the shadows.
His home, his abode, nothing touches him here.

Another appears, a feeling of tension arises in the dark air.

The man stands alone.

The two men face each other. And a tacit conflict ensues.

The other is dark and mysterious, his identity unknown, and his face cast in shadow.

Carlos uses all his insidious skills to subvert and out maneuver the adversary, but the opponent knows Carlos' moves. The other is smarter, faster, and more adept.

Though BaronCarlos should be exhausted, Carlos continues to protect his realm, and gets frustrated by this new individual on his turf.

Eventually Carlos is beaten by the invader. And is killed.

The victor is another Carlos.
Though clearly, not the same.
Same image, same Carlosian Attire.
Different personality.

BaronCarlos has Defeated and murdered himself.

See: Part 2.

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