Temple Marriage

Temple Marriage

A few of the regulars are perched on stools at the counter. We are seated at our usual booth in the corner. The traffic whizzes by up Sixth Avenue; taxis like schools of fish jockey for space.

Daisy, the sixty year old waitress poured a round of steaming coffee. Her face looked like the Sahara. She’d been through an awful lot through the years, had a heart of gold. We ate at the Moondance Diner every Sunday. I loved their corn beef hash and Jack always got the same omelet: the Denver without grilled onions.

“I can’t do it,” I said.

My partner, Jack, sat opposite. His new haircut made his cowlick stick straight up. “So, that’s it then?”

“I can’t get the time off from work,” I said. “You know the fall is our busiest season.”

“But this is a huge event, Ronny. We’ve known these two for how many years?”

We’d all met at the University of Utah. Yeah, good Mormon boys, freshly home from that all-important mission. Nick was my boyfriend first, we’d been assigned the same dorm. Within a month, he’d met Stu. It hurt then, but Jack was a better fit for me.

Now Nick and Stu were getting married on the steps of the Salt Lake City downtown temple. The one that looks like Disneyworld on acid. It would be a huge media event, with gay marriage hanging in the lurch in nearly forty other states in America.

“Why don’t they just go to Cancun and we can all fly there?” I asked Jack. I fidgeted, crossed my feet under the table. Uncrossed them.

“Cancun? You have enough time in your work schedule to fly to Mexico, but not Salt Lake?” Jack squinted his eyes and I knew he was onto me.

Truth be told, I could take a Friday off for a three day weekend. But what might be the consequences if my parents saw me on television?

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, published author, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely found in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, BlazeVOX, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Managing Editor at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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11 Responses to Temple Marriage

  1. david says:

    Genius.. can’t wait to go

  2. david says:

    I mean the TENSION.. so many familiar places and feelings.. so concise.. I hope it impacts so many.. on the steps of the Temple.. that ain’t a joke.. WOW.. contrasting the “casual” nature of Cancun or Disney on Acid Comment.. PS the Temple in Maryland… Looks like the Emerald City.. and you’re NOT allowed to tour it..

    Well done

  3. Suzi says:

    Awww…that makes my heart hurt just a tad.

  4. Shari says:

    Great vignette, and it is sad that anyone would have to wonder what Ronny does. If I was Ronny’s mother, I’d be proud of him to support this by attending. But even more importantly, I’d love him no matter what the circumstances. In a perfect world this would be a non-issue.

  5. Don says:

    I really like the juxtaposition of gay marriage up against the Mormon faith, and the Salt Lake City temple setting (for the potential event). You devise great tension just by placing characters like Ronny and Jack in these scenes that are endless with possibilities. Great job! Personally, I hope they do get married, and that Ronny and Jack are front row (or asked to be in the ceremony, even better!)

  6. theprayerlady says:

    Oh Shit ! I think I’ll send this to my Mormon friends and your email address. LOL This one made my stomache clench and my heart hurt because people can’t be themselves and get married where they want without ridicule. You really know how to rock my boat Child. Love you so Mom

  7. Andrea says:

    RARERAH!

  8. Angela says:

    Really really great. Ronny just needs support and a loving nudge from Jack so he can finally come out to his parents,
    and be himself. I would love to see this story further developed, or read more if there is more. X@

  9. Tom Froehlich says:

    Wow. That last line says something doesn’t it? Even if we can get married legally (and frankly, I don’t care anymore. The entire institution is bull shit. Let the heteros continue to screw that one up!) the societal and family pressure will remain. How unfortunate that he can’t share a special time with people he loves because it may out him to to his family. So many think that just because “Will & Grace” was on television and we can join the military as long as we hide our terrible secret that society is okay with who we are. Wake up all people. They aren’t! It’s like when blacks were given the right to vote. You think all the red neck Caucasians are okay with that just because it was now legal?! I’ve dated black men. Some great, some not so great, but people were more concerned with him being black than him being a man. Come on people, what kind of narrow-minded society do we live in? Do you realize there are still gay bashings, even in West Hollywood, one of the most densely populated gay areas in the country? No law is going to change that. They probably had it coming anyway cause they checked out some straight guys ass. If unwelcomed leers were grounds for being beaten with a baseball bat, straight guys would be laying by the roadside by the tens of thousands and women would be wielding a Louisville Slugger!

    I’ve been sexually harassed by women employers. People just laughed because I’m gay, and even though she knew it, made advances. Never mind the fact that I was very uncomfortable being in the same room with her. Sure, it’s not as if she could physically over-power me and talk me against my will, but she is the one who signs my pay check. If I had been a women and she a man, people would have been driving me to an attorneys’ office to file a suit.

    Well, thank you Robert for letting me vent. Guess you struck a nerve and guess that means big thumbs up on this piece.

  10. Beverly says:

    This is a great topic and I enjoyed how you wrote this. I read it to my husband also and he agrees: today is the day that gay marriage ought to be allowed in every state in the U.S.A. Has nothing to do with religion…gay people deserve the same benefits as straight people have. Well done!

  11. g says:

    commentary??

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