I meant to get into work half an hour early, today, but found myself entering the office half an hour late. My cousin’s getting married this afternoon, and getting dressed was a chore. I decided on a charcoal gray suit with a pink dress shirt, one of the few articles of light clothing I have that are not awaiting a laundry day rebirth (and dark clothing just doesn’t seem appropriate for a Summer wedding) to wear with my gray suit. The tie that I have that is specifically designated to go with this pink shirt has gone missing, and I spent ten minutes trying on the various red ties I have among the hundreds of ties in my giant, tie-filled duffle bag. Then I discovered that my gray suit had acquired holes near the pants pockets on either side. Fortunately, my suit jacket covers this up handily, so I can get through the day okay without embarrassing myself. There was nothing to resolve, so this problem didn’t technically cost me any time, but I had to spend about five minutes brooding over it.

At last (after another three minutes of searching for the spectacles that were in my breast pocket, and two returns to my apartment to make sure I locked my door and turned off my coffee maker), I stepped out into the sunlight. Last night, I left my MP3 player at work, so instead, I brought along my newly purchased copy of Macbeth to read between the stoplights.

On most days, I cut across Washington Square, where the Salt Lake City and County Building is located, on my way to work. Today was no different. But as I made my way around the block, I noticed something unusual.

All along State Street, between 400 and 500 South, were thousands of FLDS polygamists, there to protest a court case being decided today. I put down Macbeth. Thousands of sister wives, in their eyesore, plain dresses. Hundreds of polygamous men hanging around the City and County Building itself, a gauntlet of distrustful and hateful stares the likes of which I have never before endured.

In all my years in Utah, I’ve seen only a handful of polygamists on rare occasion. I’d never seen anything like this. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more in the minority.

As I crossed State Street, four women, apparently between the ages of 16 and 22, came across the other way, eating ice cream sundaes.


About John D. Moore

Writer, cartoonist, filmmaker, and student of Japanese language, literature, and cinema at the University of Utah.

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