My name is Eduardo Ruzman. I am a professional wedding photographer, with a studio in Chelsea. I shoot weddings of the most prominent members of New York society. I make a very good living.
But my real vocation is that of fortune-teller. When I perform my duties at the church, temple, restaurant, or private mansion, I do not simply look through the viewfinder, and shoot images. I observe, and I listen. And based on the way a marrying couple interacts, their choice of words and gestures, the roll of an eye, a rise of tension in the voice, I can predict, to the exact month, how long their marriage will last.
“Maybe if you didn’t stay out so late last night, you wouldn’t be so tired today,” complained the new bride to her groom. She was wearing a $10,000 Vera Wang dress. He was the pampered son of a Wall Street icon. His father hired me, knowing that I would make the couple look good for the New York Times wedding notice.
In fourteen months, and four days, she will file for divorce.
I was not born with this skill. I nurtured my talent during childhood in the Bronx. My father and mother, Rolando and Estella, argued all the time, about work, about the dishes, about how my mother made the “biggest mistake of her life” by not marrying Frederick, my father’s brother. My father hated when she said that, especially how it was spoken with venom, and he would slap her in the face. Sometimes, while locked in my bedroom, I would hear the beatings. It was my first correct forecast. I knew that my parents would be married forever. Or until 1989, when my father had his mysterious accident, breaking his neck on the bottom of the steps.