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Black ink dusts my fingers after forty. Digs under my nails after fifty five-by-seven sheets are cut to size. Each one on top of the pile is tilted a bit differently. There’s more of a black edge on that one before the last. A crooked corner on this one, unnoticeable without comparing it to the straight one next door. The lines are imperfect, like irregular swirls on the fingertips I take to the sink. Fifty done, fifty more to go.  Soap suds rush down the drain in gray trails with diluted ink.

The invitations need to be cut here, on the coffee table at the apartment, because I forgot them on the train this afternoon. This may be better. Cheaper. I like how the rustic imperfection matches the Western rough edges of everything else so far. Halfway done and things are starting to show personality.

The envelopes came out of the box in a perfect pile without a mark. Now the corners are jagged, the pile is puffy with air, the return addresses bleed burgundy, acid-free markings. Penmanship instead of smooth calligraphy. The beginning shows small tight writing, the hand of my husband-to-be. At the end, he had to leave for work; the letters grew large, the spaces between lines, thick, but the information, the same.

Your invitation will be yours, the only one like it. And we made it just for you. Sat and sweat at this coffee table, in our apartment-to-be, the Dennisons-to-be, because we want you to be here with us. Some of you won’t, but it won’t be because we didn’t ask.