I Threw Rice at a Wedding Once
I threw rice at a wedding once, showered the happy couple as they passed. I didn’t want to, because I was thinking about the person who would have to clean it up later, painstakingly, but I threw the rice anyway. Maybe someone wouldn’t have to clean it at all, because we were outside on a lawn in front of a small white church with walls as smooth as cake, and rice is biodegradable. But what about the birds who might peck at the rice, would it get caught in their beaks, would it be bad for their digestion? It’s uncooked rice after all. The grains can be sharp. Would the bride have the rice stuck in her hair for a long time after because she wore it in elaborate curls and it looked like the roots were teased up, in other words, a rice trap? Would her new husband, my best friend from high school, be picking the grains out of her hair when they were naked and laughing and murmuring to each other in the darkness of their hotel room, I can’t believe we’re husband and wife? Would he remember that I was there throwing rice at him, while his cheeks were flushed with happiness and his wife’s chin jutted out as she folded the space in two with her long strides because she’s much taller than me? I thought I saw a single grain smack him in the forehead and I thought it was one of the grains I’d thrown but I couldn’t be sure. I wish that grain could’ve grown a mouth and opened it and said, Hey! Don’t forget we were once naked, we once murmured to each other, ‘I can’t believe we’re here alone. I can’t believe you look like this, or feel like this, or taste—.’ Historically, grains of rice do not have mouths and are unable to grow them. So after I threw the rice at this wedding, I stood there with a few loose grains in the pit of my hand and I licked my palm while the future drove away in an old-fashioned car. I couldn’t shout congratulations on account of my mouth being busy with chewing because I was still worried for the birds.
Amy Silverberg is a Doctoral fellow in Fiction at the University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in the LA Review of Books, The Collagist, Hobart, The Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. She also performs stand-up and sketch comedy around LA. You can follow her on Twitter @AmySilverberg.
Photo by Daniel Lobo