Jessie's parents will be there. They will be smiling, her father with his long white hair in a ponytail, her mother who looks almost exactly like her, her brother in baggy shorts and shirts that skim his torso. Our close friends will be there, from Michigan, Connecticut, New York, Oregon. There will be handkerchiefs embroidered with anchors for party favors. There might be dancing to the song "Rock Lobster." There will be talking and shouting and laughing and standing out in the grass without shoes, drinking and hugging.
There will be four empty chairs reserved for my family. My mother, my father, and my two brothers.
This is what I imagine from time to time, when I am sitting on the couch or in bed or at work: I'm driving home from the airport in October. My brothers, one 20, the other 16, sit in the back of the car, hugging backpacks decked with flight tags. I will be sitting in the passenger seat because my eyes are tearing up so badly I can't see the road. I turn my neck to look at them, both jet-lagged and tired, in the back seat. I tell them, over and over: "I can't believe you came. I am so glad you are here for my wedding."