"Because You Have Made It So"
[Saturday, December 6, 2014]
Fiddlesticks and Diamond held hands,
each of them also holding one of the girls,
Fiddlesticks with Libbia and Diamond with Kenya.
Hefty and Roger held hands too, staring
at the formal garden all around them.
Winter had turned the place into
a fairyland of silver and crystal.
Ice jeweled the wedding pavilion
and fresh snow pillowed itself over
topiary that twinkled with tiny lights.
"We're getting married in Elsa's palace!"
Libbia squealed, pointing at the pavilion.
"I guess we are, but we have to wait
for our turn," Fiddlesticks said.
They had booked a slot at one of
the venues that catered to people who
were upgrading separate marriages
to a group marriage and didn't need
a great deal of festivities or guests.
Their own party held nothing more
than the four adults and two girls.
They could always throw a party
when they got back home.
It was imperative to do this soon,
after the scare they'd all had when
Fiddlesticks almost got killed in action.
Ahead of them, a happy blonde bride
shivered in her big white dress. She
had two grooms, but the smaller was
hidden entirely behind the larger one.
As soon as the pictures were taken,
the trio scampered laughing for
the warmth of the glasshouse.
The officiant waved to them.
They'd chosen an interfaith chaplain
who specialized in marrying polycules
across a wide range of religions.
Milton Kimball was calm and wise,
and his nonanxious presence helped
to soothe the inevitable anxiety.
He wore a white shirt over
plain black trousers, with
a stole covered in a rainbow
of different religious symbols.
"All right, we're up," Fiddlesticks said.
"Everyone on your best behavior, please."
The six of them trooped up to the pavilion
and arranged themselves inside the pillars.
"Today you take the next step toward
continuing your lifetime commitment to
each other," said Milton. "The love and trust
you have cultivated reach out to your family
and friends who in their own ways support
and enrich all of your relationships."
"We have always been married,
and I have the honor of experiencing
that love and happiness now and forever,"
Diamond said to Fiddlesticks, holding hands.
"You bring me all I could ask and more."
"Today I affirm my love for you,"
Fiddlesticks said to Diamond. "In you
I find the best person I have ever known --
kind, generous, intuitive, and beautiful."
"You are my love and my guide
in all things," Roger said to Hefty,
clasping hands. "You are the man that
I will hold close, comfort, kiss, and
cry with for the rest of my life."
"I love you for what you are and
all you could become. I love what
you have made of yourself and what
you are making of me. You have
done more than any oath to make me
a good man," Hefty said to Roger. "I will
strive to protect you and support you,
to trust you and be worthy of your trust."
"You volunteered to take me on as a rookie
when nobody else wanted to take a chance,"
Fiddlesticks said to Hefty as they turned
to face each other. "Now I affirm you as
my beat partner, steadfast and true."
"The last thing we do as a unit, before
we face the day, is stand in a circle
and remind each other why we're here --
to protect and to serve," Hefty said to
Fiddlesticks. "I believe in you. I trust you.
No matter what happens out there, partner,
know that I’ve always got your back."
"You are my best friend. Today I give
myself to you in loving partnership,"
Diamond said to Roger as she turned
toward him. "I promise to care for you
through the ups and downs of life, when
things seem easy and when they get hard,
when our love is simple and when it's an effort."
"I never thought I could love a woman, but
now I know better. You are like a sister to me,"
Roger said to Diamond. "I give you my strength
and my patience. I promise to comfort, protect,
and shelter you whatever the future holds."
The adults all held hands in a square,
with the children standing in the middle.
"We promise to love and care for
your children, as they become part of
our own family," Hefty and Roger said
to Fiddlesticks and Diamond. "Libbia and
Kenya, we promise to nurture your happiness,
support your successes, and help you grow."
Hefty took out the gold necklaces, each with
an infinity heart pendant. "These necklaces
represent our love and devotion to the two
of you," he said, fastening one on Libbia
as Roger did the same for Kenya.
"We promise to listen to you and
mind what you say, to accept and
treasure our differences, to work out
disagreements before they get worse,
and to be the best people we can be,"
Libbia said, and Kenya nodded.
"Wedding rings symbolize love and
commitment," Milton said. "Yours have
been remade to mark your new family,
with an inner circle for eternity and
an outer square for your marriage."
Diamond put a ring on Fiddlesticks,
Fiddlesticks on Hefty, Hefty on Roger,
and finally Roger on Diamond.
"Shared experiences and community
create the ties that bind, the love that
unites you," Milton said. "From this day on,
may you build a life together filled with joy
and hope as you become one family."
"I now pronounce you husband and wife,
husband and husband," Milton said.
"You may kiss your spouse."
Both couples kissed thoroughly.
"I now pronounce you beat partners,"
Milton said. "Gentlemen, shake on it."
Hefty and Fiddlesticks shook hands.
"I now pronounce you zucchini,"
Milton said. "You may hug the squash."
Roger and Diamond hugged each other.
"I now pronounce you one family,"
Milton said. "You may all
embrace your future."
Everyone piled together
and hugged each other.
"Thank you," Fiddlesticks said
to Milton when he could talk
without getting all choked up.
He led his family out of the pavilion --
and then froze as he saw the trio
waiting patiently for Milton to set up
whatever props they had requested.
"Is that Tarnish?" Hefty said, startled.
It was indeed, his face largely hidden
by silver-trimmed black robes, although
it seemed that he'd left off the faceless mask.
"Yes, and that's Cavalier alongside him,"
Fiddlesticks said, tipping his head toward
the man in brown krevel. The two men were
sometimes allies, sometimes enemies -- more
the latter recently, which begged the question
of what on earth they were doing here.
Princessa, clad in a gown of carnelian brocade
and sapphire velvet, was the newest of the three
and the least familiar one. They spent most of
their time in the mountain states and only
came to the plains on rare occasions, so
Fiddlesticks didn't know them well.
"What brings you here?" Hefty wondered.
"Don't ask questions you don't want to know
the answers to," Tarnish said darkly.
"He's not jerking with you, that actually
is the answer," Cavalier said. "He rolled me,
and well, I confessed I was falling in love
with him, and one thing led to another."
"I think it turned out well in the end,"
Princessa said, smiling at them.
"I ruin everything I touch,"
Tarnish said, shaking his head.
"No, you don't," Princessa said.
"Take them out of your pocket if you
need a reminder, that's what they're for."
Hesitantly, Tarnish took out three rolling rings,
each made of three narrow bands linked together:
one of copper, one of silver, and one of gold.
The bands shone in the winter sun.
"See, not a speck of tarnish on
any of them," Princessa said.
"Your control is just fine."
Fiddlesticks knew that
her superpowers could push
people into doing things they
didn't really want to do, and
for that matter Tarnish could
force the truth out them.
He wondered briefly if they
genuinely wanted to get married.
But the men were holding hands
hard enough to turn their knuckles white,
and they were plastered so closely
to Princessa that they might just
as well have been sewn on.
That probably meant it was real,
for whatever value of 'real' applied
to twitterpated youngsters anyway.
Fiddlesticks herded his family
back indoors, and collected
the file of wedding pictures
from the official photographer.
Then they headed back to
their hotel. Hefty and Roger
had let him pick it, so he had
chosen a safari-themed place.
Like the wedding venue, the hotel
catered to polycules, so they had
a fantastic suite with a kitchen and
living room, and two bedrooms each
with its own honeymoon bathtub.
It also had a huge lobby with
nearly life-sized animal statues,
a gift shop with safari souvenirs,
a café, a full-sized restaurant,
a play room, an arcade, a gym,
and a gigantic water park.
They could all explore the pool
tomorrow, when they would make
time to visit the Great Salt Lake too.
They planned to switch pairings then, so
Hefty and Fiddlesticks, Roger and Diamond
could celebrate affirmation of their ties.
Tonight was for the couples, though,
and they all looked forward to drinks and
dancing before they would indulge in
the heart-shaped whirlpool bathtubs
and the two private bedrooms.
They deposited both of the girls in
the child care room where mascots
dressed in furry animal suits were
telling stories about Africa.
Libbia and Kenya promptly forgot
about all the mushy grownup stuff
in favor of petting the "elephant."
In the lobby, the four of them
stumbled across the trio again.
Well, the hotel did cater to polycules,
so it made sense they'd wind up here.
It was still odd to see a white cape,
a gray cape, and a black cape
together, especially now that they
wore their tricolor wedding rings.
The three of them all had the same
half-goofy, half-panicked look of
any other newlyweds, though, so
they were more similar than different.
"Congratulations on your marriage,"
Fiddlesticks said to them.
"While it lasts," Tarnish said
as he clung to his spice.
"Here's the thing about marriage,"
Diamond said. "If you want something
to last forever, you treat it differently than
something disposable. You shield it and
protect it. You never abuse it. You don't
expose it to the elements. You don't
let it become it common or ordinary."
"But I'll fuck it up," Tarnish said,
twisting his ring on his finger.
"I fuck up everything in my life.
I washed out of college three times."
"Well, that can happen," Diamond said.
"Remember what I said about something
you want to last, though. If it ever becomes
tarnished, then you lovingly polish it until it
gleams like new. It becomes special because
you have made it that way, and it only grows
more beautiful and precious as time goes by."
Tarnish stared at them. "Is -- is she
always like that?" he said faintly.
"Yeah," Fiddlesticks said with a grin.
"That's why we married her."
* * *
This poem is long, so the character, setting, and content notes appear separately.