Donut Forget To Say Your Vows
Mother and I get to the church via taxi. The driver smelled vaguely of mandarins. He seems a nice enough guy and we chat amicably about his life in Canberra. He looks like he's from India but its entirely possible he's from Pakistan. I wonder if I should ask? Would his manner change suddenly? Would he be disappointed that I couldn't tell the difference? Maybe he'd get angry. Like, inexplicably furious. How would I know how his brain chemistry works? Maybe a murderous wrath would grip his entire body- his breathing would change noticeably, his heart rate would increase dramatically and his catecholamines would play havoc on his survival instinct- and he'd plunge mother and I into a river, head first, killing us all. I avoid the topic anyway. Just for safety's sake. Mother and the driver chat away, unaware of the dangers that I'd saved them from.
It had been a fair while since I had set foot in a church. With the amount of sins culminating in my life I had thought it a distinct possibility that my body would burst in to flames or I'd be turned into a cockroach as soon as I stepped on hallowed ground. But I'd flown all the way to Canberra to witness the marriage of my cousin James and I'd be damned if I allowed my irrational fear of God turn me away at this juncture. I'd survived the irrational fear of a nice cab driver killing himself, mother and I to get here so I think I could survive a few more hours without screaming at the thought of being turned into a bug, then incinerated by a vengeful Deity.
The day is about as typical as you might imagine it to be. The sun is out on a beautiful day. Old people recount events that took place decades ago. The children take turns desecrating graves. The women dress prettily. The men hide their bloodshot eyes with sunglasses.
The first part of the ceremony had been spent wondering if that was James up at the altar. It had been years since any of the family members had seen him but eventually we were convinced that it must be him since he was the guy in the tux saying the vows. Plus the back of his head was James-like.
I had been spending the latter part of the ceremony fantasising about getting a lap dance from Dita Von Teese. Which is about the time the priest burst into tears. What the heck is going on here?
At the start of the wedding, when I first saw the priest (a fifty-ish lady who looked like she baked cookies), I had thought: How de rigeur for this day and age. No one likes to be married by stuffy old paedophiles. Unbeknownst to me the lovely old lady was the godmother of the bride. 'How cool,' I mumble, 'Do you think she can make pumpkins turn into carriages?'
'Grow up,' snaps mum.
...and the night ends with a whole bunch of people going to the reception hall (the Lakeside) to drink free booze and dance to '80s music. James' federal policefriends* got to cast aside the austere expressions they have to wear during the course of their day jobs that involve solving murders or uncovering drug rings. His new wife gets to bask in the glory of her well-meaning friends who congratulate her on a new surname and a lifetime of servitude. And our family get to sit and talk amongst each other, knowing that the next time we'll all gather like this is at another wedding or a funeral.
* Can I just say here that the wedding cake was pretty funky. Since James is a cop the wedding cake was a stack of Krispy Kreme donuts. When I mentioned to Auntie Lois (James' mum) about how piss funny that was, she told me sadly that only three people of the entire 100+ people got the joke.