i woke up this morning at 7am to go to dan and cymara's civil marriage ceremony.
i begged dan to let me go when i first heard about it last week. here was this historical event happening, and there would be no one to see it but them. i wanted to be a witness, i wanted to have photos.
so i got out of bed at 7am (having only slept for 2 hours), got dressed (even put on a clean shirt and tie, i like to think i clean up well when i'm not usually dressed as a slob), and walked to harvard square in the cold and quiet morning. i tried to imagine all the people i knew either still sleeping in bed or just about to wake up to go to work (if they didn't have the day off today, martin luther king junior day). i caught the 66 from the island, not quite sure if it was the right bus or not. after a few long minutes, the driver started up the bus and we were on our way. nobody spoke on the bus, it was quiet, everyone lost in their own thoughts, the silence occasionally broken by the busdriver announcing the next stop. the morning sun bathed everything in a beautiful golden light.
fortunately, the 66 was the right bus and i got to dan's place with 30 minutes to spare. i decided to grab some breakfast before i showed up, getting a sausage egg mcmuffin meal from the corner macdonalds. i watched the green line train passing by. i watched the rows of taxicabs waiting for a fare. eating my hash brown, i felt the nostalgia of a road trip, the only other time i'd be up early enough to grab a macdonalds breakfast meal. when i finished, i headed over to dan's.
dan's friend cheryl was going to come along as well (i thought i was the only one!), giving us a ride in her car. so we waited, dan showing me the digital video he shot when he was in brazil this holiday season. even though i didn't understand much of what was happening, it was still very interesting. say what you will about photography, but nothing captures life quite like video. there was none of the jungle or exotic animals or women dressed in feathered headgear dancing in the streets - the usual things i think about when i think about brazil. it was very normal, very quiet, the most exotic thing was seeing some weird tropical fronds.
cheryl ended up being a no-show, so we ended up taking a taxi from allston to brighton, to where dan used to live, where they had an appointment with a justice of the peace, herbert m. nollman, who also ran the samuel cooper (photo) studios. herbert was a friendly old man, kind of reminded me of that history teacher from boston public. behind his desk was the studio space where he shoots his photos (light stands and backdrops were plainly visible), on the walls were wedding photos of happy newlyweds. herbert put on his official justice of the peace robe (looked like a black judge robe). dan and cymara sat before him, while he read passages from a book for either dan or cymara to repeat after him. i sat a distance back behind it all, silently snapping away with my digital camera. dan and cymara kissed after the justice of the peace announced they were now officially married (i wasn't able to snap the money shot however, my camera was still stuck saving a previous photo). just like that, they were now legally married.
afterwards we went next door to the mirror cafe (windows covered in red curtains to keep out the sun, which i thought was kind of auspicious) to get some coffee. i got a small coffee (which later will be a significant factor in determining the rest of my day). dan and cymara tried to explain to me what just happened, how although they were now legally married, the actual marriage ceremony (in a church, with family members, not just a curious friend with a camera) won't be until august back in brazil. there was no ring exchange during the civil ceremony, and all they really needed was a marriage license (including a blood test), which they already got. so think getting married was this big complicated, extravagant, expensive, crazy las vegas style sideshow, but actually, getting legally married is quite easy and inexpensive.
we went to wait for the 86 bus to get us back into harvard square, both dan and cymara going back to work. 40 minutes later, standing in the freezing cold with a half dozen other unfortunate commuters, we crossed the street and got into a taxi. we got off at harvard square, where dan and cymara took the red line to their respective destinations while i walked home across the harvard campus, where the strong winter winds blew snow over the frozen grounds like a sandstorm. by the time i got home, my feet were frozen and my hands were hurting from the bitter cold.
i was so hopped up from my small cup of coffee about an hour ago, that i couldn't sit still, i was totally antsy. in order to put my new found energy to better use, i started cleaning the house, vacuuming, washing the bathroom, doing the dishes, a day of domesticity.
when dinner time came around, i decided to make up my own recipe instead of follow any cookbooks. it would be what was left of my tricolor pasta, combined with a quarter jar of tomato sauce, chopped onions, chopped celery, and chopped ham. into the mix i also threw in half a packet of thai hot sauce paste. the result? that paste is no good! it's sour for some reason, i will never use it again. it tasted like that time i botched the thai sausages recipe. i ate as much as i could and gladly threw away the rest.
so that was my day. i didn't get a chance to run some of my other errands because i completely forgot that today is martin luther king junior day, and all town offices were closed. i'll do them tomorrow though.