Dirty Wedding Short Story

Submitted By spemat
Words: 1255
Pages: 6

Matt Spears
11:30 a.m.
In the Darkness Have you ever been in love, fallen out of love, and looked back on it wondering was I really in love? In the short story “Dirty Wedding” the author Dennis Johnson portrays a man looking back on a particular lover in his life. Johnson’s main character in the story has no name, which strikes me as odd and makes you wonder if he has experienced a girlfriend or friend that has experienced the issue of abortion. The narrator has no respect and seems to have no sympathy for his so called girlfriend. Throughout the story the main character struggles with obstacles and has trouble finding his true identity. People fall in love for many reasons and in this story it makes you wonder what love really is. Love is a mystery; things are not always a fairy tale in the midst of love. Some situations cause us to grow closer to a person and make us think we are in love. The narrator has a girlfriend who is pregnant with his child. As they walk through the doors of the abortion clinic they are bombarded by holy water and called upon by a man who whispers in Michelle’s ear. It’s almost as if they are entering the gates of heaven or he is exaggerating the memory. Whatever the case, it had some ever lasting effect on him; as if he knew what he was doing was wrong. He seems to be totally apathetic to the fact that his girlfriend is getting an abortion and how detrimental the decision is. He actually makes jokes with Michelle saying, “I’d actually gotten a vasectomy a long time ago, and somebody else must have made her pregnant.” He also goes on to say,” I had operable cancer and would soon be passed away and gone, eternally” (Page 76). This is the part of the story where I started to wonder and question the mental health of the narrator. The story goes one to say afterwards that Michelle could never love him less, no matter how astonishingly horrible the narrator acts were. This cleared a lot of things up for me because throughout the story I found myself wondering how one could do such rude, insulting acts to the person they loved. I actually had a clear picture in my head of what their relationship must have been like. I got the image of an abusive couple, who had no respect for one another, and only relied on the other for their own personal selfish desires. For instance, the first thing that popped into the narrator’s head when Michelle was done with the operation was,” Is she dead.” And,”I kind of wish she was,” (Page 77). To me this just outlines his disrespect for his girlfriend and his comprehension to notice or realize that he was just responsible in the desolation of a human life. However, as he leaves the abortion clinic he is splashed with holy water and claims he didn’t feel a thing, not for many years. This speaks volume to the fact that he feels a sense of regret many years down the road. This is where I thought to myself maybe this guy is not as bad as I thought. We all have a way of escaping reality when we need to. The train represents an escape from the narrator’s problems. An escape from the pain Michelle was experiencing and the same pain that Michelle wanted the narrator to feel with her. The train represents a way for the narrator to clear his mind. A place where one can look at a pairs of ugly shoes, snowy mountains, and people. A place where one can think of simple-minded thoughts, a way of clearing one’s mind. “In the darkness under the universe it didn’t matter that the driver was a blind man. He felt the future with his face. And suddenly the train hushed as if the wind had been kicked out of it, and we came into the evening again” (Page 81). He seems to be in a depressed state maybe because of their living condition or maybe the fact that he is slowly realizing the magnitude of what they had done. He soon succumbs to drugs to run away from his feelings. The drugs represented another form of escape and way of dealing with his issues.” I know that there are