All the Pretty Horses

He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all.

By midmorning the rain had stopped. Water dripped from the trees in the alameda and the crepe hung in soggy strings. He stood with the horses and watched the wedding party emerge from the church. The groom wore a dull black suit too large for him and he looked not uneasy but half desperate, as if unused to clothes at all. The bride was embarrassed and clung to him and they stood on the steps for their photograph to be taken and in their antique formalwear posed there in front of the church they already had the look of old photos. In the sepia monochrome of a rainy day in that lost village they'd grown old instantly.

In the alameda an old woman in a black rebozo was going about tilting the metal tables and chairs to let the water run off. She and others began to set out food from pails and baskets and a group of three musicians in soiled silver suits stood by with their instruments. The groom took the bride's hand to help her negotiate the water standing in front of the church steps. In the water they were gray figures reflected against a grey sky. A small boy ran out and stamped in the puddle and sprayed a sheet of the muddy gray water over them and ran away with his companions. The bride clutched her husband. He scowled and looked after the boys but there was nothing to be done and she looked down at her dress and she looked at him and then she laughed. Then the husband laughed and others in the party also and they crossed the road laughing and looking from one to the other and entered the alameda among the tables and the musicians began to play. (284-85)

McCarthy, Cormac. All the Pretty Horses. New York: Vintage, 1992.

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