One year ago today, I woke up early and tore down the I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson with my parents and siblings in tow. One year ago today, my mom and sister dropped me off on the corner of 4th and University at Epic Cafe. One year ago today, Bob and I parked in front of the Greyhound bus station on Congress. One year ago today, we walked to the Pima County Superior Court, paid $72 and signed a slip of paper. One year ago today, we walked out of the clerk’s office with our marriage license in a slim manila envelope and danced all giddy in front of the stucco building and Tucson’s homeless scene.
It would only be ten minutes before my mom called to let us know that her radiator burst shortly after she dropped us off, and that she kept driving through the smoke to get our fast-melting cupcakes to the safety of an air-conditioned room. We would go on to spend the rest of the day criss-crossing the Tucson streets in a rental car, slinging paper flowers all over our modest chapel, waiting in a greasy auto shop, overheating like the radiator, careening in late to our own rehearsal dinner, and wrapping our friends and family in big sweaty hugs.
People ask what’s to love about a dusty town like Tucson. Why get married in the middle of a crumbling barrio at the height of the desert’s heat when you’ve got a state full of parks and resorts and soaring views to choose from. I say, Tucson brought me love.
One year ago today, Bob and I were “once more the pair / who lived in bristling places / in harsh nests in the rock.” In Tucson, we lived it out vividly, rose and suffered, felt and rejoiced. One year ago today, we huddled in our separate hotel rooms and scribbled out our vows: “So let our difficult time / stand up to infinity / with four hands and four eyes.”