I Want a Divorce
Lunar New Year. A time of cultural celebration and pride.
I’m also getting married tonight.
However, this bride feels inadequate, ugly, and off-white.
Some would call me yellow, compared to the other eggshells. Discolored, perhaps more easier to break.
I, take you, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love you and honor you, all the days of my life.
You wanted to have a Vatican wedding for the past two years, no matter how impossible it seemed. We’d sip fine red wine, watching fireworks erupt in the sky by Castel Sant’Angelo while a string quartet would play us into a reception.
But things are different now.
Your fraternity house isn’t the Vatican. There are no cardinals, only disciplined white males who sin more than they’d like to admit. They look at me and wonder if I’m really the obedient wife advertised on those Love Tour commercials. The red wine bottle turns into shot glasses of vodka-champagne. The fireworks are replaced by Christmas lights that glow year-long regardless of the season. This wedding venue is an actual joke.
I remember there was a time when you told me that I was complete marriage material.
What is marriage material?
Is it the privilege you gave to me in the form of a fraternity shirt? I remember what you call your “laundry bag,” a woven sack of jasmine rice that would hold the white pearls hidden underneath water that originally belonged to my ancestors. I realize I can’t wash anything down with this drink.
You explain how the game works. The objective is to marry many people so that you can collect rings. I saw you had thirteen metal rings, you were winning. I felt like a loser.
At least you were dressed for the occasion: bowtie and all while your groomsmen brothers were wrapped in North Face, Patagonia, and long-sleeved Comfort Colors. When you take my hand in yours, the metaphorical virgin inside of me blushes because it still feels like the first time.
You lead us to a make-shift altar, complete with a pledge dressed like Elvis and we hear that they’ve ran out of champagne and rings.
“I guess it’s just not meant to be,” I said, when my inebriated Maid of Honor rips the rings off her finger and you manage to catch one before it touches the ground. In such an easy position, I watch you get on one knee to propose.
“Katrina Anne Sangalang Agudo, will you marry me?”
People are watching. You’ve used my entire name. I watched you “marry” someone else tonight, and it wasn’t a spectacle like this.
Suddenly, a Greco-Roman Goddess appears before I can respond. Her sun-kissed skin and bright blue eyes make her hair look like spun gold. She asks if you have a girlfriend. You say no. She smiles and leaves us, a sister of Aphrodite. I’m brought back to this distorted sense of reality where I am still your ex-girlfriend and you’re asking me to marry you, because of the stupid game. All else has become some ancient myth.
I am the foreign Trojan Horse to be set on fire on Greek pale shores.
I’m literally standing in front of you while you’re kneeling. I’m close enough to kick your face in, but I don’t.
“I guess? I have nothing better to do.”
We take a sip of each other’s Keystone Light, elbows like twisting vines.
I want to be encouraging.
I want to be cool.
Then, I envision you going home with the Goddess, your white metaphorical togas in your equally white sheets. What a match made in Mount Olympus- with her larger chest, larger financial bracket, larger chance with you than me.
I don’t want to stay to see the end result of the party. Perhaps you didn’t really ask me to marry you.
Maybe you just invited me to.
While our relationship is old, this Lunar Year was new.
This ring borrowed, left me feeling blue.
Katrina Agudo: "I am an MFA Playwriting candidate at The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City. Four of my productions have all been produced by The University of Texas at Austin from 2014-2017. I seek to translate poetic narratives about mental health, Asian-American experiences, and LGBTQ representation to the stage."