Early morning, the clock beeped six am as he rolled off his single bed. Peter was not used to waking up this early. He could smell the dew in the air. It made him sick. Last night’s party was too wild and his hammering headache was testament to this. He stumbled to the bathroom and caught his reflection in the mirror. He looked awful. He was pale and the sides of his mouth were white. He wiped away the whiteness and smiled at his ironic reflection. The good son has a huge hangover. He urinated and climbed in the shower.

He looked better now. He was wearing a black three button suit. He was going to church, a very rare occurrence for a free thinking person like him. He preferred not bothering himself with matters of religion. He thought it did not challenge one intellectually and it was past the time for the ignorant. But he had to go this morning. It was his sister’s wedding. She was getting married to a young priest who never showed any signs of rebellion. Not that it was a bad thing. Peter liked the fact that his sister was marrying someone safe, someone who would take care of her.

He stood strong against the wind. The weather was horrible that day. It was not ideal for a wedding. Peter loved this weather though. He got to wear his favourite coat. It was a three quarter trench coat with three double breasted buttons. He loved everything in threes. He was walking down the street while he was thinking of his coat. He reached inside of it and produced a cigarette. He had trouble lighting it due to the wind but he was successful after his third try.

As he took a long drag of the cigarette he started thinking about his sister’s fiancée. How could a man like him enjoy life by following so many rules? Does he not yearn for some kind of excitement? Peter was passing the local deli when he arrived at his conclusion. Maybe this man was ignorant to spontaneous living or he just did not care for risky adventures. Maybe he thought he was above pure enjoyment. Peter smiled at his own reasoning. He hardly knew what pure enjoyment was.

Peter lit another cigarette as he sat on a bench that was confusingly in the middle of nowhere. While he was sitting there he received a phone call. He answered neutrally.


“Peter? Where are you? The wedding is in twenty minutes.”

“I’m on a bench somewhere. Who is this? The wedding’s only at 9.”

“It’s your brother and it’s 8:40.”

Peter ended the call and started running towards his car.

The church smelled of incense. Peter liked the smell, though that was the only thing he loved about the place. He shifted uncomfortably in the pew and pondered whether anyone coveted the priest’s leather throne. He looked up at the couple standing at the altar and felt a disturbingly desolate sense of indifference. He did not care that his sister was getting married. It was just another event not worth noting. He also noticed the priest’s ruby ring. He smiled at the irony of this pious priest.

Broken branches in the forest. The animals run past the tree and do not notice the broken branches. A small squirrel scampers to the tree and notices the broken branches and realises his ascent to the top of this tree would be difficult. He tells the other animals about the tree, but they do not care. They do not care that the tree is mangled. That is nature. That is life.