Married, One Way or Another

October 20, 2019

In the end we went to Reno.

In the beginning, was a yellow envelope that sat on top of the fridge for longer than it should have, in a beautifully lit kitchen of a bad idea apartment in the wrong end of the wrong town.

In the middle, was a series of offices in a German city hall; a fax machine in a kiosk in a downtown shopping district; a post man hand-delivering a battered envelop with our address listed as both destination and return.

In the middle, was the limbo of not knowing under what category we’d be able to file ourselves. Are your papers in order? This is Germany; your papers are never in order. They are always in process.

I could say a thousand times and ways that we come as a package deal. I told a German lawyer a year ago that I’d marry Eric anywhere and anywhen I could; he said it was romantic. There wasn’t much romantic about being denied on a technicality; about last minute flights squeezed into school holidays; about seeing any part of the USA again, let alone of Nevada.

Some parts of Reno were beautiful. The trees by the river, the sky with clouds rolling through looking like they were trying to tempt the pot smokers into liking rain by their shape alone. Brisk mornings walking to Starbucks.

Some where distasteful. Lack of basic stores in town, insanely high prices, masses of street surveillance cameras. So many homeless people, the parks looked like an emergency shelter in the aftermath of … something. Seeing thin blue line hoodies worn openly. Though Germany did no better on that last, with a guy with ‘pepe’ tattooed on his knuckles on the train on our way home. Some things are everywhere.

Chi was able to join us for a couple days, which I was very glad for. It’s hard to have close friends and almost never see them. The actual wedding was as simple as possible; we didn’t really have inclination to complicate it. Our lives are complicated enough. Proofread, sign here, show up there, say the thing, wait an hour, pick up papers. The irony was not lost on me that we had to come all the way from Germany to enjoy some Nevada efficiency.

The next day, we took Kimlet to an interactive science museum down the road. She had a blast; I’m surprised it was possible to drag her out of there. Like so many buildings in Reno, it seemed halfway made and halfway designed, with no wifi (there was an eduroam node fading in and out, never quite usable) and no accoustic dampening. Painful echo seems to be an aesthetic there. Naturally, one only the children don’t mind.

Andrew came by for coffee… I’m still averaging a decade from one time I see a friend to the next (two, in the case of my uncle); and that’s for the friends I ever see! We had a day to spare thanks to contingency planning. Not that this got any more of Reno seen, but really, by then I didn’t want to see any more of it. I just wanted to get out with our bank account nominally intact.

Married, One Way or Another - October 20, 2019 - Kim Reece