From Street Carpets to Sonic the Hedgehog

A ceremonious cultural tradition in the age of millennials.



The morning began in a white gown, white veil, white shoes and socks - an elementary school bride of sorts. The attire all purchased from a Portuguese shop, called "Pato Donaldo", which I now realize translates to "Donald Duck" for no reason at all. They lined us up at the church in two lines, for boys and girls. The streets were lined with stunning carpet runners of sawdust, flowers, and greenery.

In the moments between when the street closure began and when the procession passed, intricate geometric wooden frames emerged from basements of every house along the route and were placed in the street as molds to create patterns.
The sawdust, accumulated throughout the year from Vavo's workshop and hand-dyed in vibrant colors, was placed by the handful into the molds at a furious but organized pace.

This was a common occurrence. Processions filling the city streets on a weekly basis every spring from each of the Portuguese catholic churches. I never liked walking in them. Maybe because I had anxiety about getting lost in the busy crowd trying to organize itself at the starting line. Maybe I hated watching kids walk in the decorative street carpet instead of around it (the HORROR of white shoes in freshly dyed sawdust). This day was no different. But since we lived in the neighborhood, mom agreed that I could ditch the procession once it arrived at my house. This was approximately the halfway point.


I happened to have the special honor of holding the Holy Spirit banner that day. As the procession approached my house, I felt zero remorse as I let go of my end of the banner and left my first-communion class homies in my dust. I didn't even look back.


I was already changed into street clothes and suited up with helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist pads, and rollerblades before the procession had finished passing my house. I took a few driveway laps ending with a crash into the grapevine post that was captured on a giant camcorder. I still live with the regret of not submitting it to Bob Saget at the time.


The camcorder then shows an eternity of me zipping through levels of Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis; the sounds of which I will forever by able to identify. Tails followed along in his most pest-y and unhelpful way, as Sonic gobbled up all of the spaghetti-O's in 100x speed.


The night ended with a recording of me and two friends creating an *iconic* music video to Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" that I'm still upset wasn't played at my wedding reception. I had unpinned the perfect bun that held up a veiled crown earlier in the day, in favor of shaking my wild tresses to 92 Pro FM.