Fatal procrastination
A rambling by Tom Knapp

Today, as I write this, is Aug. 16, 2003. It was supposed to be my wedding day.

Instead, I'm wrapping up a vacation in St. Martin, the Caribbean island that, truth be told, would have been a wonderful spot for a honeymoon. But I'm here alone, sporting a mild sunburn and having consumed vast quantities of seafood, rum and pineapple over the past several days. I came to grieve -- an ongoing process -- but not to forget, which is neither possible nor desirable. My best hope was a pleasant distraction during a difficult week.

I've had a great time, really -- despite picking up a bit of a minor throat infection somewhere along the way (which would have, let's face it, put quite a damper on a honeymoon's primary purpose). I've absorbed satisfyingly hearty doses of sun, sand and sea on a northern French beach, taken some cool pictures, gambled in a few Dutch casinos, tried some new fruity drinks involving rum and bright colors, enjoyed some tasty island cuisine, read several very good novels and, Rambles diehard that I am, even written a few book reviews. I've had a wonderful time, and I really didn't plan on spending any part of my final day on the island, my would-be wedding day, writing -- or even thinking -- about what could have been. But pen and paper lie close at hand, and today my thoughts want escape -- and a letter, even now, months after we called the whole thing off, would not be welcome.

So you, dear friends, get to share these idle ramblings. Lucky readers! If you're not interested, hey, there are plenty of music, book and movie reviews on the What's New page -- why are you lingering here?!

OK, now that everyone's left ... I could list many reasons why the relationship failed. If you asked my ex-fiancee, I'm sure she'd list an entirely different set. Who's right or wrong no longer matters. That the relationship failed, ultimately, is the only vital piece of information now.

The sad truth is, many of the items on both of our lists were long-standing issues that, for whatever reason, we chose to ignore -- or defer, at least, 'til another day. Perhaps we both believed that love was enough to overcome those nagging doubts and problems. And, believe me, we loved each other very, very much.

I could go on and on about the good qualities that made me love her. Sadly, they too are moot.

I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that problems shouldn't be swept under the rug or hidden in the closet at the expense of conversation and, if possible, resolution. My fiancee and I, both in the business of communication, proved unable or unwilling to communicate effectively with each other.

Perhaps, if we'd tackled the issues sooner, we'd have been able to solve a few things. Or maybe we'd have realized sooner that they couldn't be fixed, saving a lot of heartache later. And really, looking back, it's quite likely they couldn't be fixed. Why, then, did we wait so long to try? Was it nothing more than fear of the inevitable? Perhaps. Love is a precious thing, and it's hard to relinquish even when it's wrong.

Today was supposed to be my wedding day. Instead, I'm spending a solitary vacation relearning how to live without her. It's time to put these thoughts to rest; perhaps sharing them with you now will help me do that.

But please, people -- talk to each other. That's really all I have to say.

- Rambles
written by by Tom Knapp
published 23 August 2003