05 August, 2004

Reality Strikes

...some sad things know to man/ but there ain't too much sadder than/ the tears of a clown/ when there's no one around....

I evidently know some unusually vicious people.

Or is everyone vicious and I never noticed?


Judy Rousuck's review came out today. Unfortunately, I can't link to it. You have to be a member of Baltimore Sun before you can get at it. If you're that interested, have at, but I'll just say that I thought it was a better review than CityPaper's. CityPaper, I think, has an inexperienced reviewer on board, and he contented himself with giving a plot summary with a teensy bit of critical analysis thrown in.


PARF is fun; though we arrive too late to take advantage of the pool or the cable TV, the children enjoy spending the night in an unfamiliar bed and eating buffet breakfast before being tourists for the day. I climb onto the Wall of Infamy, and though there is no chalk outline on the asphalt below, I notice, in blue tape, a large M stuck on the stone. Coincidence? Perhaps. I hang my heels off the back edge, grin and wave and blow bubbles.

I realize the man I've been calling Jack is not the owner, and anyway the owner's name is Chuck. This man's name is Tom. Who is he? I don't know. Have I met Chuck? I don't know that, too. Ellie hopes to see me later in the season. Kirk asks if I'm doing school days. I shrug. I make a signing motion with a tiny shake of my head and another shrug. "You haven't signed anything." Again a shrug and a negative shake, with a pretend phone to my ear. "No one's called you? They haven't even called you. Amazing." Raised eyebrows, rolling eyes, and a quick flash of a single digit. Kirk lets loose a loud guffaw that rolls into a belly laugh. I love finding people who "read" me this easily. It makes conversation so very enjoyable.

It is very hot and takes a lot out of the three of us. An enjoyable outing, though not the transcendent experience of last year's Youth Camp Day.

Youth Camp Day, Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival 6 August 2003

The drive to PA was gorgeous. Mist spread unevenly like creamcheese across rolling hills, tree-lumped landscape. Taillights, streetlights, twinkled cheerfully at me. The world was mine, the streets were dry. Every tollworker I met, the gas station attendants, all wore beautiful smiles. A smear of pink across the sky like a good morning kiss preceeded the dayglow red ball of bright that leapt onto the horizon. As usual, I wanted to travel down every river I crossed.

When I got to the site, people were waiting to greet me, happy to meet me. Some of my old friends were there. One gave me an apple. I got my performers packet, complete with comp tickets that I must use on Opening Weekend, if I'm to use them at all.

The high humidity and haze-veiled sunshine made the bubbles glow. I stood on the roof at the front gate, welcoming the young patrons, well before the gate opened. Having gone overboard with the glycerin again, the bubbles I created yesterday, (which marks, for me, the official beginning of RenFest season), were both luminous and phantasmogoric, all gleaming color and weirdly twisting shape in the light playful breeze. My soap ratio is too high, my Critic whispers. I didn't measure, and it was four-thirty in the morning, I whisper back.

Later I found another place to be picturesque. All over the site, which is snaked round with asphalt paths, there are landscaped hills of loveliness. This one had a large rock, perfect for a smallish mime. A plant known, I believe, as Budlia, grew in abundance. Yellow blossoms flickered amidst these purple-studded bushes: I was surrounded by tiny butterflies.

It's good to be home in the village.

Traffic on the way home is a meatgrinder; I return home in shreds.

(Tears of a Clown; Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

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