My boyfriend and I had free passes to the Rose Festival last night. During this nearly month-long celebration of the City of Roses, "Pepsi Waterfront Village" sprawls along the west bank of the Willamette River in all its carnivalic glory, highlighted by the midway. This was our destination.
I haven't been to any sort of civic engagement such as this since that piddling fair at St. Helen's parish in Chicago back in 2001 (where I managed to spend the entire time in the beer garden). And I hate to admit it but I had a blast! We went on all the "scary" rides, all the while laughing about the inevitable fall to our deaths. We flew like the supermen we are, got turned on our heads more than is advisable, and coined a new phrase of giddy conquest: "Super-Looper!!" Not to mention the requisite gorging on elephant ears and fresh-squeezed lemonade. My usual in-a-big-crowd self--staid, too cool--let loose for once... I was a kid again.
It was nearing the end of our evening among the hoi polloi--after riding the ferris wheel--when we happened across a collection of photo booths beneath the Morrison Bridge. We shelled out four bucks and piled in. (obnoxious smiles) Flash... (tongues out) Flash... (look cute) Flash... (kissy kissy) Flash. Then you have to wait three minutes for the pictures to develop. And that's when it happened.
We stood there tapping our feet. Looking around, humming to myself. There's a happy gay couple with their two kids and a giant stuffed animal from a game booth. Warms my heart, it does. Gotta love Portland. Maybe that'll be us someday. Noise behind me: music, laughter, screaming children... screaming in a good way. The setting sun is giving off this eerie, beautiful light that casts a yellow glow on everything the angels deem it touches. It creates around us an artificially 3-D world of striking contrasts and shadows. I'm surrounded by smiles and happiness and innocence. I gaze upon Boyfriend's strong, Eastern European features. Features that are softened by two of the most brilliant eyes you ever did see. This is my world. This is my life. Us and our kids (two cats, maybe real ones someday) and our world of smiles and laughter and yellow light. And I'm content and happy and the future is open and limitless. And I realize that life is really, truly good...
"Yay! The pictures are ready!"
And there we are with our obnoxious smiles, our tongues hanging out, looking cute, and kissing. Us together forever... open... limitless...
"Shall we be off?" "Yes, we shall." Walking toward home, hand in hand, with the yellow light glowing upon our backs. Walking into the good life.
And all of that in just three minutes. Beneath the Morrison Bridge.