I’ve had the honor of officiating many weddings over the past two decades. They’ve all been beautiful in their way, but more often than not the vows exchanged have been—naive, to say the least. I know mine were. That’s because for most couples these usually aren’t really marriage vows, they’re wedding vows: tidy little phrases designed for a filtered photo album ceremony—not for the messy, meandering, disorienting experience that is sharing life alongside another person. Based on twenty-five years of marriage and on my time counseling couples before, during, and far too often following their marriages—these are some … Continue reading Honest Wedding Vows for Real Marriages by John Pavlovitz
“I told you we should have made reservations,” Maya said. “But this trip was supposed to be about spontaneity.” Maya and Zephyr were driving across the country in their new used RV. They were celebrating Maya’s retirement after thirty-five years of teaching high school science and Vermont’s passing Marriage Equality. Finally, Maya no longer needed to worry about getting outed at school and she felt a new freedom. Zephyr had never had that worry. As an independent IT contractor no one gave a damn about who she slept with as long as she fixed their … Continue reading Under the Parking Lot Moon by Bonnie E. Carlson
It was raining hard and Eunice’s husband, Oliver, insisted on getting the car from the lot and bringing it around to the front of Brucie’s, where they were regulars. You could get supper for two, dessert included, for twenty-eight bucks plus tip. Marriages had rituals. After he left, the sky, at 7:00 p.m., darkened like midnight, and the rain splashed down like a carwash. She waited inside, peering out the window, watching for their cosmic blue metallic Honda that her husband would keep for five more years, at least, no matter what new safety features … Continue reading Midnight by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Bill Bruce is the 1st place winner of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest.
I hate the scent of imitation lemon in dish soap. It’s too concentrated to be authentic. But the scent will lose potency once I dilute it in water. That’s always the trick. Dilute what’s unpleasant. Dilute what hurts you, what keeps you up at night and, even though it’s still there, you can bear it, even accept it. The pyramid of dishes starts with a foundation from yesterday and leads, like an archeological excavation of dried food bits, through memories of breakfast and lunch to the dinner we just ate. Dirty mugs and glasses clutter … Continue reading Diluted by Jaime Balboa
First Dog: A Love Song You didn’t even want it. You said it was much too nervous, inappropriate for us who had never owned a dog, and wrong for our cold climate. It would have to wear a sweater, we would become the sort of people who put a sweater on their dog. You said a greyhound was appropriate for racing or for show, not for friendship, not to love. It would try to hunt, I told you, would track small cats and squirrels but obey when we said heel. If we let it … Continue reading First Dog: A Love Song by Rachel Willems
Ten years after my second divorce and one year sober, dreaming of companionable days and zooming up to a net worth of zero, Charlie asked me to marry him and I said yes. It was an act of reckless selfishness. I had no history of peaceful co-existence with a man; no demonstrated ability to function as part of a team, take things as they come à deux. But true love will rise up and conquer common sense even after forty, and one fine September day Charlie and I were married by Rappin’ Ray, minister of … Continue reading Life in the Big Woods by Martha Woodroof