The other guests have gathered, already comfortable and cosy. My arrival is subtle and silent. I'm welcomed through a varicoloured haze of satin and velvet as the girls catch all eyes.
They laud in veils and hats, dresses of great shade and tailor and heels of great height and shine.
The men look polished and groomed; ties and shoes of varied degree with grey and dark ensembles the common choice of uniform.
There's grins and glee aplenty; restless elation amongst a passionate people, all present and sharing the love and life of the newly-weds.
The conversations unfold; spiels on style and comments on culture. Gossip and rumour exchanged in pleasant and upbeat demeanor. There's coffee cups filled and champagne glasses emptied, each beverage shared with eats, both sweet and savoury.
The murmur of patrons, warm and wondrous. Their laughter reverberates, hording the great hall. The grizzled limestone surroundings tightly pillared from all four sides towards the white and gold marble above. The domed ceiling, incredible superiority in architectural purity, brought together by a marvellous crystal chandelier that dangles luminous upon the guests and wooden floor below.
A pianist plays in the key of family and friends bonding in chinwag anarchy. Laughter and stories, catch ups and formalities, a happy time.
"Doesn't she look stunning?" A statement of intent that requires my thoughts on the bride. The smiling bride. She swans beautifully beneath the crystal light tincture, her movement immaculate and graceful, a serene cloud floating in warm white between and beyond her guests.
She's beautiful. But she cannot take away from my own get up for the day which is equally impressive. The carefully chosen mask I've worn that provides
a smile. The humour I've hired that shows contentment and happiness. The body language I've bought that pretends I want to be here. Should anyone enquire as to my wellbeing, I'm fully prepared with deep pockets full of fiction and fable to ensure that the vision of my life at present is one of great ambition and desire.
I mingle and mix when its required, acknowledging in false approval my peers own promise of progression and pride in life; confirmation of further engagements, houses brokered and bought, babies on the way. I smile at their stance, but cry inside as I succumb once again to my own self-hate and loneliness.
A moment in late afternoon is lost as I stare in abandoned regard at nothing. My empty intent is distracted pleasantly by the allure and elegance of her dainty frame. A bridesmaid cut in emerald green, a silk curtain fitted and flowing in decency and triumph around her as she manoeuvres barefoot around decorated tables and chairs.
She moves in several directions but slowly, an empress of reverie whose looming shadow grows. Her long brown hair a flawless platted rope sitting gentle over her left shoulder. Her eyes glow in peaceful meddlesomeness, two circled ornaments of jewel blue awake under spectacular lashes and thinned brows.
A glance in my direction followed by a half smile from her painted lips suggests she sees beneath my mask and fathoms my lifes intricacies.
My stomach whirls in response to her indisputable bloom. I like her. Perhaps beneath the flames of my own flaws and self-loathing, there's a desire to love and live.
Maybe I could talk to her? Young girls have problems too, she might understand.
I shake my head, acceptance and convincement against the speculation that such a gentlewoman would ever like someone like me, such nonsense. My deprivation in living would never be inflicted on someone so pure.
These glorious notions subside by choice, I catch a clear view of myself in the mirror. I see everything. The trousers and blazer; black and dark like my everlasting mood. A shirt as white as the light I think I'll see once the noose tightens around my neck and a tie as red as the blood that may spill from my wrists when all is said and done.
Depression and me; til death do us part.