We are gathered here today, in the presence of this company, so that Fantomas may at long last become a man in the fullest sense of the word, and that love, which knows no impediment, may claim its rightful prize. Love does not fear adversity because it knows itself to be stronger than adversity, and knows, too, that its claims are foreordained by Heaven. So I say to you that this is no happenstance; no accident; no aberration. Nay and a thousand times nay. It is Mater Natura that has framed this hour according to her inscrutable laws. Man and gorilla, proud and ancient bloodlines, descended from a common ancestor, and destined, perhaps, to sire a common progeny! Here, in this place and at this time, is history made. Man and simian, simian and man, fulfill their historic destiny and become one! For where gorilla came closest to man, and man closest to gorilla, there did love bridge the breech. Long did man wonder what was the common link. Look! here is the common link! and it belongs not to yesterday but to today!
One among us here, even more than fantomas, has dreamt of this hour, caressed it in her bosom since first she rocked him there. It is fantomas' 106-year-old Tía Tecla, who took no "jubilation" at age 65, but spent the next 40 years looking after her little "cebolla." She worked scouring floors and starching shirt collars and does so to this day so that fantomas should never have to exert body or mind on his own behalf. Hers is this hour as all her waking hours belong to him! Stand up, blessed hoary dame, if you can, and receive our recognition and thanks! [She struggles to her feet with the aid of Chichi, fantomas' first girlfriend, a mere chimpanzee of a girl. Uproarious applause].
And there are other people here who have meant much to fantomas in his life. There, sitting together, and loving every minute of it as if they wished they had lived in our times, are the ghosts of fantomas' dead mentors, Eddie Chibás and Frank País. Will you not both float over us and give us your benediction? No guns or bombs please. Save that for the fireworks after the wedding.
Fantomas best friend, his "nigga," as he proudly calls himself, is also here. Henry, erstwhile conductor, economist and diviner of dark mysteries, who did not see this coming in the prophecies of Nostradamus Dorschner, is with us today; and not only Henry but all the gang from Babalú who booted him from their blog but not from their hearts. George is standing on his seat, not wishing to miss the least detail of this historic day. And Val, the Founding Father of Babalú, appears to be overcome with emotion (as one would expect), as he holds in both hands the dead chickens and coconuts that he has brought as an offering for the nuptial table.
Occupying more than half the hall are those who know him best, his fears and calamities, his hopes and disappointments, his attempts and his failures: the delegation from RCAB, luminaries of thought and action, who have been fantomas' confessors, advisers and occasional flagellants. It is they who have emboldened him, encouraged and delivered him from a barren existence and brought him here today: Vana and Agustín, Ms. Calabaza and Serafín, and Angel. There is another who has been in an intellectual sense what Tía Tecla has been to fantomas in an intestinal one. He has fed fantomas' famished mind, and if his mind is still no match for his body, at least, it has stretched beyond anyone's imagination before finally popping. (Laughter) Yes, many things will be popping tonight. (More laughter) This noble gentleman forbids that his name be mentioned here today, disclaiming all cults of personality and, indeed, all responsibility for anything that fantomas may become or do in the future. Seriously.
But wait! There he is! Virtue's last reliquary, virgin in body and mind, and now King Kong's betrothed and soon to be wife."
Wearing half the lace in the world on his wedding gown, his 40 stone (560 lbs) looking no more than 39 (546 lbs), fantomas appears demure inside the encroaching shadow of his 2 tonne groom.
The Gay Mens Choir of Puerto Rico sings "Love Changes Everything" as bride and groom prepare to pledge their lives to each other for eternity.
"If there be any man or gorilla who shall object to this wedding led him speak now or forever hold his peace"
Then, suddenly: "Stop!"
The word, though only one syllable, resonates though the building as if uttered by a thousand voices. Everybody turns his neck to see who had spoken it but no one is in view. Visible panic can be read on the faces of many of the assembled. Fantomas' own face, as might be expected, is a study in anxious perplexity; but that is hardly out of the ordinary.
"I object!" Again that voice which seems to emanate from the ether.
"Present yourself and make your reasons known," answered the minister.
"You can't see me but I am here. I am King Kong's first love. It was to me that he is bound for all time."
King Kong's eyes are popping out and his ears seem literally to swallow every word with an immemorial hunger. Can it be her, after all these years? The tears are gathering in his eyes. That voice! That voice!
"Yes, it is I, beloved, come from the very bowels of the earth to claim you as mine. When we were young the world stood in arms against our love. But now the world cannot bind me. I am free of its shackles at last and seek shelter in your strong arms again. Come with me, my love, let us fulfill the promise of our youth and make the world go away!"
King Kong speaking in the sign language that he learned as a young gorilla:
"That love is a memory dear to me but impossible to recapture. If you had limbs they would be cold while fantomas' are warm and beckoning. Be gone, if you once loved me, and cloud not my present happiness with shadows of yesterday. Adieu."
King Kong's declaration is greeted with applause and tears. Fantomas is glowing with pride and perspiration. He knows now that King Kong's love for him surpasses that which he once felt for that skinny-assed harpy that once vamped him. Yes, King Kong is truly his; the past has no hold on him; and even angels or devils from other regions cannot tempt him with their wormy virginity. It is only his wormy virginity that King Kong wants.
The ceremony recommences with the solemn vows that seal their union, each to the other pledging their love and constancy for as long as they both shall live. The exchange of rings is particularly memorable; their rings, indeed, had to be forged by a blacksmith and though open-ended were still a little tight. King Kong posed for a moment not knowing on which of the eight fingers of fantomas' right hand to place the ring, settling finally on the pinky as the point of least resistance.
They kiss as bidden, and such is King Kong's fervor that he bites off fantomas' lips and part of his tongue. Fortunately, fantomas is doubled-lipped and has a forked-tongue besides. The spectators are much amused at this incident, just another of those little adjustments that the newlyweds will have to make if they are going to make a go of their singular marriage.
The final blessing is given and the holy water sprinkled upon them.
Oh, Fortuna, how carelessly thou snips the threads that bind us to each other!
Continued next week...