Melanie stared open-mouthed at the mug toppled on the shag as if it were a hand grenade.
"It'll come out!" Stef cried.
"I can't get it to come out. I can't believe this!" Melanie spit on her thumbs and rubbed the lace furiously between them. The spot just laid there like a relaxed beach-bather.
"This was your idea in the first place! I told you not to do it. Ronnie, soda water, now!"
"Look, everyone is already sitting down. The music is already playing! I can't go down there with a wet dress! This is not some junior prom! What am I supposed to do?"
"It's going to be okay. We'll get it out and everything will be fine. No, no, don't do that. Give me that! Soda water will get it out, I know it will."
"This a sign. This is a sign that I'm not supposed to do this. I've got to go, now. Get out of my way!" Melanie shrieked and threw the scissors against the wall.
"Get a hold of yourself! This is not a sign, it's a spot! And it's not the goddamned stigmata, it's just tea! Get back here! What about Dylan? What are you DOING?!"
Melanie kicked the mug through the doorway ahead and stormed after it, flailing her train behind her. The mug rolled through the balcony railing, missed a balding head in the front row, and bounced a few times on the red carpet.
Dylan felt something splash on his cheek. He turned his head in surprise and glimpsed a dark stain spreading on the white collar of his tuxedo. It smelled of bergamot.
He squinted at the stain, missing the whirl of white lace disappearing through the church front door; but he heard the organ halt and the crowd gasp. He turned around, walked to the men's room, and started to scrub out the stain.
"Speak, thou vast and venerable head," muttered Ahab, "which, though
ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses; speak,
mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. Of all divers,
thou has dived the deepest. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams has
moved amid the world's foundations. Where unrecorded names and navies rust,
and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate
earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there, in that awful
water-land, there was thy most familiar home. Thou hast been where bell or
diver never went; has slept by many a sailer's side, where sleepless mothers
would give their lives to lay them down. Thou saw'st the locked lovers when
leaping from their flaming ship; heart to heart they sank beneath the exulting
wave; true to each other, when heaven seemed false to them. Thou saw'st the
murdered mate when tossed by pirates from the midnight deck; for hours he fell
into the deeper midnight of the insatiate maw; and his murderers still sailed
on unharmed -- while swift lightnings shivered the neighboring ship that would
have borne a righteous husband to outstretched, longing arms. O head! thou has
seen enough to split the planets and make an infidel of Abraham, and not one
syllable is thine!"
-- H. Melville, "Moby Dick"
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