The Olympic College library where Mandy worked closed the first week in August since classes were out, and the building needed a thorough cleaning. She took the opportunity to visit Fay in Victoria, leaving me home alone. She should have updated me on what was happening in Victoria. Her silence on the wedding head-count fueled my obsession with numbers and made me more anxious. The wedding anxieties kept me awake until midnight.
Finally, my wedding day arrived. The sewer project was in full swing and the road in front of my house had been dug up with a deep trench filled with sewage. The stench filled my nostrils, upset my stomach, and reminded me a killer lurked in our community.
Mom came early to help me into my wedding dress. Trevor cheerfully ferried her from the county park to my dock in his kayak then went out to the front lawn to build a drawbridge over the trench.
“Mom, the seat of your dress is wet.”
“I’ll just dry it in the dryer while we get you into your gown.” Mom true to her word popped her dress, the same one she wore to my first wedding, in the dryer emerging in a lacy slip. “It’s fortunate that I chose something wash and wear for your weddings.” She helped me into the muslin dress Patty made for a pattern saying, “The muslin is so pretty, you don’t really need the satin dress, and Ralph would prefer you naked anyway.”
“Mom, I don’t think I’m really supposed to wear this. I’m sure Patty will bring my real wedding dress. Look the seams are on the outside.”
“They look like ruffles, very pretty. You better put this on in case Patty decides to go skiing or visit friends instead of bringing your dress. She’s an adult now and can’t be running over here every weekend.” Mom zipped the muslin dress up the back.
I tried not to get upset over the zipper when I’d wanted a row of buttons on my wedding dress.
Once dressed, I emerged on my back lawn to find guests and neighbors setting up chairs and tables. Shirley, the chair of my Care Committee had cut the wedding cake saying, “Life’s short, eat cake first.”
Mom in her slip bustled about helping guests to cake and handing out napkins.
I wandered to the front lawn where Trevor had constructed a massive medieval drawbridge complete with chains and huge wooden wheels and pulleys. “It’s all computer controlled.” Trevor gleefully explained as he lowered the bridge allowing guests waiting in the road to drive across.
A man in a yellow hardhat yelled at Trevor. “You can’t do that. We don’t want anybody coming or going during construction.”
Everybody ignored the man in the yellow hat.
Patty hadn’t arrived with my dress yet, which was okay because Ralph hadn’t arrived yet either.
Loud music drew me back to my back lawn. A rock band had run a spider web of extension chords across the patio. They’d taped them down with clear tape. Rich explained, “We couldn’t find silver tape and thought the clear looks better.”
“Where is your father?”
“I don’t know. I think he planned on coming. He said something about coming to hear my new band play.”
“I didn’t know you were in a band.”
“I just learned to play this week, but I’ve listened to Jimi Hendrix for years, so don’t worry, we’ll be great.
At this moment a large eye on a pole emerged from the lake. Cary pointed and yelled, “Look it’s a Plesiosaurus Rex.”
The large eye ascended with a rush of water as a nuclear submarine rose out of the lake sending a large wave of water up the lawn knocking down my trustee committee who were setting up a champagne fountain.
Sailors climbed out of a hatch on the submarine and threw ropes to Trevor on the dock. Trevor rafted the submarine to his kayak as sailors began to scramble out asking for food.
Finally, I saw Ralph’s baldhead emerge from the hatch. I ran down the lawn trying not to slip on lake weeds that had washed up on the lawn bringing the stench of failed septic tanks to my back lawn.
Ralph pulled me into a hug. All of a sudden, I didn’t care about the sewer or the cake or my dress. Ralph held me. I looked up at him. “Why a submarine.”
“I knew the road was torn up, and I wanted to be certain I could get here, so I called in a few favors at the state department, and they loaned me the submarine. Of course, we we’ll have to feed the crew.”
As Ralph and I floated up the lawn arm in arm, I heard one of the sailors talking to Cary about underground rivers and how the submarine could go anywhere in the underground rivers.
Everything would be okay. Ralph had arrived.
My bladder woke me up. As I shuffled off the to bathroom, I wondered why it still seemed possible that a submarine could get into Oak Lake. I shook my head and drank water until the dream receded and I could sleep without further anxieties. On my way back to bed, I told John Wesley, “You know, I think I trust Ralph to do as he says.”