We're back in the Old Pueblo after a six-day road trip, and everything's strangely like it was before I took off to live intermittantly in Los Angeles, which, considering I get to live with Janine again on a not-just-weekends-only basis, is a definite upgrade. Or retrofit? Any mechanic readers who care to help me with my analogies?
Anyway, the wedding was wonderful -- not just the wedding, but the entire week, all the way through, was absolutely beautiful. On Thursday, a good chunk of my relatives and Janine's were already at my uncle Fred's (the wedding site), gourmet Fred probably effortlessly whipped up a large salmon feast and most got plowed on my brother Pete's fine wines, and you could have cut the love with a knife and spread it on the rolls. Friday was the rehearsal dinner, which was a repeat of the night before, but with more people and different food at a different place. Just as cool. Janine threw a tea party at a tea bar (or whatever they call those places) for the women from both (well, all) sides of the family -- they had a blast, but are mysteriously tight-lipped about the affair.
And we got married on Saturday. The photos do it a lot better justice than I can. It started late at 5:30 and ended sometime before midnight. We get the negatives this week -- the photographer said there were some "nice shots," and we're counting on his having a fine command of understatement.
Alright, so we're married and stuff, but on the way back through Tennessee... GRACELAND, BABY! Yes, we saw the jaw-droppingly garish and gorgeous/awful abode of the King, even the exact piano in the foyer of his personal raquetball court where he sat his impacted colon for the final time and serenaded his waning heart into that good night. Unfortunately, visitors aren't allowed upstairs where he later retreated to his bathroom and everything resolved itself so improperly. I like to think Sir Noel Coward expired in the early seventies because his fashion sense smothered him in his sleep out of ultimate kindness, but I haven't gotten that far in the book yet. Let's say the Fashion Fairy wasn't as kind to Elvis.
We also took in the Oklahoma City National Memorial late this past Friday, and it's hard to convey the chillingness. The monolithic gates at either end of the disaster area marked with the time immediately before (9:01) and after (9:03) the attack, and the hundreds of empty chairs were devastating, but I think the part that affected me most was the realization that the immense plaza that once led up to the Murrah building (steps, landscaping, ramps, tile, gates to the underground parking where McVeigh left the van) are kept entirely intact, and now overlook the Memorial grounds. The whole city block gives a intensely eerie air of frozen time, punctuated by the ongoing tributes populating a chain-link fence along the western sidewalk that are regularly updated nine years later.
So we're back in the Tucson, and I'm starting a new job digging a site in Marana (just north of town). Janine and I will be arriving home about the same time every night. How effin' cool is that? My only regret is that I'll miss the Cardinals when they play San Diego and LA this month in California. Life is... bittersweet.