8/8/03 Columbia County, NY (my

8/8/03 Columbia County, NY (my wedding is tomorrow)

I lie here in my new room at the farm, by myself, as a nod to the chastity usually reserved between bride and groom. Tessa is about eight miles away in a bed & breakfast in Massachusetts, and while it offers an amazing amount of introspection before such a huge event, I’m not sure if I particularly wanted to be alone tonight.

Being alone was pretty much what “being single” offers you each evening, a chance to retreat deeper into yourself and wonder where it all went wrong. I lie here after a day of swimming, softball, bowling and blackjack, and think that all of these things are better with someone else in your life.

I am so happy to be free of the burden of finding other women attractive. Sure, I occasionally find some of them “striking” in a purely anthropological way, but the quarts, rods and ampules of affirmation I needed always chained me to the tyranny of insane women at the end of late nights. Rick Maechling drove in tonight, and I was struck at my behavior at his wedding only three years ago, and what a moron I was. I lie here as my last night as a bachelor and all I can think to do is apologize to everybody.

Without Tessa I am bathing in the amniotic delight of my best friends. They are truly who got me here, and when all else was awry, they are the ones that offered advice, distraction and salve. While we were playing cards tonight, I occasionally looked around the room with the distinct feeling that it truly cannot get better than this.

at right, I deal to the big spenders

But here’s the thing: Tessa and I are always a partnership on all the big things we do in our life, and we lean on each other heavily to see how we should feel, how we should act, even a gentle word in one direction or another. And here we are, the night before the Biggest Thing, and I feel like I haven’t seen her all weekend.

My family is pretty incredible. I feel like I got married late enough in life that they all turned out to be cool, helpful and divinatory in their own ways. Sean didn’t have the benefit of a fully-healed family unit when he was first married back in 1994, something we can all offer next year. A lot of things are better now that we all waited.

I can say this, though, ringing clear in my head: I waited long enough, and I am through. Ambivalence being damned, I am ready to walk up that hill and do this thing. By being married, and falling in love, you set yourself up the possibility of tremendous sadness, but I will take that bet. Everyone talks about those last-second jitters, but I can rest tonight under the penumbra of a foregone conclusion.