replacing the verbiage
Wednesday, May 7 2003
Today I kept impulsively adding stones to my stone path, which, a few days ago, had been nothing but a mossy stairway from the front yard down into the backyard. By day's end today, though, it was a real path disappearing into the woods.
It was typical of the way I work under the pressure of a deadline, obsessive dedication to a distraction from more pressing demands. In this case the higher priorities were finishing my laboratory floor for the party and completing a compilation of feloniously-downloaded songs for a commemorative CD that we will be giving to well-wishers.
At five in the afternoon we had a meeting in Kingston with the family court judge who will perform our marriage. She'd been recommended by the owner of the Armadillo Grill as a down-to-earth dog-friendly sort of judge. Her existence had come as something of a relief; Gretchen had done her research and found the Hurley judge to be a "Conservative [read: 'French-boycotting'] Republican" and the Woodstock judge to be, well, from Woodstock, a town that has begun to annoy us.
At the meeting we discussed what would happen at the ceremony and the judge offered to email us the text so we could mark it up and excise the parts we didn't like. In the end we cut it down to bare bones, replacing, for example, the verbiage about "for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health" with "regardless of circumstances" - thereby including such circumstances as massive weight gains or impulsive sex change operations under the rubric of events that we would be pledging our marriage capable of surviving.
Before going to bed, I finally got around to applying a layer of polyurethane to the highly-traveled axis of my laboratory's floor. It went down sort of unevenly, leaving yellow-tinged knots and puddles in various places over the underlying painted design. But I had to do something to protect it - well-wishers might end up dancing on that floor during the wedding party on Saturday. I swept and vacuumed the floor thoroughly before applying the polyurethane, but somehow there were still plenty of hairs floating around and hundreds of them ended up embedded in the resin, preserved for the ages like gnats in amber. Someday some savvy scientist will ascertain the nutritional content of my every meal by carefully analyzing the detailed hair-records trapped within the surface layer of the floor of my laboratory.
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