By RE Katz

Adam, this is just to say that I will not be able to make it to your wedding. First of all, I don’t eat chicken or halibut. I also don’t eat steak or vegetable medleys. There’s really no reason for me to spoil everyone else’s dinner.

I think your fiancée’s great-aunt is my old piano teacher, and I can’t risk that we’d be seated at the same table. I think the woman carries that creepy old metronome around in her pocketbook. I can still hear it.

Also, I have a voucher for one Zumba class. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually a special class with one of the founders of the art-science of Zumba. It can be really hard to get into, and I want to keep my options open.

On the refrigerator magnet you sent me of you and Leigh (did I spell that right?) posing in those floral arrangements, she looks a lot like a character from Tales from the Crypt that I’ve been afraid of since I was a kid. I think that it would really trigger me to see her that way in person, all zombie bride, you understand.

And anyway, as of last week I’ve suddenly developed a severe allergy to long periods of direct sunlight. My dermatologist says that unless you move the ceremony inside, it would be absolutely toxic for me to attend.

Not to mention, I might be in New Zealand. U.S. Airways has been sending me some unbelievable deals lately, and they say that it’s the best time to go. You know, I have been meaning to go back for so long.

Lately, I referee bocce ball tournaments Saturday afternoons at the retirement community on Decatur Street. They get really competitive, and last week, we had a woman try to run down another woman with her rolling walker. It turns out they were roommates and the resentment between them had been building awhile over a situation with the TV remote.

Then there’s the matter of me having nothing to wear. Really though, I just donated most of my clothes to an organization that makes quilts from old clothing fabric. They needed a lot of my dresses for just one quilt.

Did I tell you, my father is having cataract surgery around that time? I have to be able to drive him wherever he needs to go at any given time. He can’t see, Adam.

The party is at the Highland Ridge Club, and of course, I’m banned for life. Don’t you remember? How could you not remember that day we parked our bikes at the club so that we could swim in that beautiful restricted waterfall area, and then when they came and found us and asked us to leave, we took our time. We made such a mess of the main dining room. We walked through the whole place in the middle of the day with our suits dripping over the midcentury Moroccan rugs. Then we went out to get our bikes and I broke a window, just for good measure. I remember the look on your face. You wished you’d done it.

When we met up last summer at the old café and you bought me that piece of carrot cake but you wouldn’t have a bite, not even a single bite of it, you looked into my eyes and told me that you missed me. I’ve been eating carrot cake a lot since then. It’s really all I eat. I can’t be eating other kinds of cake right now, Adam.

This story was originally published in Paper Darts.