I always imagined that we would return and do it again.
Not the entire thing again, of course- we wouldn't re-do the ceremony. No, I just imagined that we would all reconvene, in five or ten years, on the grass expanse over-looking Lake Lugano and throw another party.
And why not? The summer of 2012 had been the most magical time of my life. Three months spent wandering around Europe, exploring big cities and old towns while occasionally mixing in the wedding of a friend, only to, eventually, wind our way down to the foot of the Swiss Alps- where the mountains turn Italian- in order to gather with loved ones and throw a wedding of our own.
As should be evidenced by my Latin-named children, a long flirtatious relationship with the Catholic Church and a career spent in the pizza business, getting married in a place of Italian culture was a dream come true. The whole experience turned out so fantasically romantic that I never wanted it to end.
As a result, beginning with the moment that we set foot back on American soil, I struggled. Though very happily married, everyday life, here in Oakland, was just not romantic enough. I knew, of course- and as my Protestant culture constantly reminded me- that everyday life was not supposed to be eternally romantic. Yet, deep down, I sensed that I now knew otherwise; I had tasted something sweet in Lugano.
It felt as if the universe had played a cruel trick.
Over time, Lugano began to take on the character of a dream from which I've just awoken; one that I can't bear to part with so I linger on in bed, half awake, knowing that the moment in which I rise will be the instant in which it all begins to slowly fade away into nothingness. In an attempt to stave this off, I began to, more and more, look at the idea of a ten-year reunion as the way to keep a grip on the dream.
Fate, alas, would not have it be so. With two little children, our time, as well as our financial state, had become quite restricted. Likewise, it had become restricted for most of the friends and family who attended the wedding; many of whom now have little children of their own; the participation of these folks being, obviously, neccessary for a reunion.
Ten years ago, however, none of this seemed as if it would ever matter. I expected, after all, to be financially successful by now and, with such success, I would be able to simply transcend the universal laws of time and money and transport all of my friends and family to the top of Monte Bre. Such success, of course, never arrived and the incontrovertible design of the universe carried on, untranscended.
Consequently, as the date of our tenth anniversary approached, I came to envision a somewhat curtailed version of a reunion. Our Swiss friends, who also married that summer, were apparently thinking along much the same lines as they made us a most gracious offer. Even with such generosity, unfortunately, Lugano, and the romantic dream that it embodied, still remained out of reach.
Or was it out of reach? Because, as I looked back, I came to the conclusion that the first event must have originally appeared out of reach, as well. Which caused me to wonder; was Lugano slightly beyond my grasp? Or had the length of my reach shortened?
Surely, I told myself, if I had desired it strongly enough, I could have made some form of a reunion occur. Though I knew better- though I knew that you cannot buy dreams or purchase passion- I began to feel that if only I had been more successful, Lugano would never have been so out of reach.
Then I turned to my side- such beauty, such wisdom, such grace- and it struck me; I was successful. Though the financial success which had once seemed so within my reach had never materialized, when it came to the things that mattered most, I'd done quite well. In fact, for myself, I couldn't have done any better.
Which was, at the end of the day, the purpose of it all. The purpose of the Lugano romance was to bring two souls together in order to form one union; the purpose which, when taken to its meaningful conclusion, reveals itself through our two wonderful little children; who, God-willing, will create little ones of their own; and on, and on, and on, for eternity.
The thing for which I had been grasping was always firmly within my grip. Lugano, and all that it embodied, no longer resided in the outside world of my experience, but within me; within us.
And the universe seemed right again.