...five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes/how do you measure - measure a year?/in daylights - in sunsets/ in midnights - in cups of coffee....
Hilby arrives, eleven-year-old son Aviv in tow. "Where do you PUT them all?" Rosman asks, incredulous. "And why do they like to stay with you better than with me, anyway?"
Basement, breakfast, blowjobs? I dunno, Michael.
Martin calls Hilby "the perfect anti-German. He's friendly, he's messy, and he's funny."
Aviv looks at a picture on my kitchen wall. "Who are those guys?"
"Who ARE dose guys? Come ON, Aviv," Hilby chides.
"The Three Stooges? This is Curly...and those are, uh, the other two?"
Actually, those guys are Julius, Leonard and Adolph. Better known as Groucho, Chico and Harpo.
"Friends of yours?"
The Marx Brothers.
"No, Aviv, you know the Marx Brozers. Veally, Seabelle? Harpo's name vas Adolph?"
Little known fact. He had it changed to Arthur later, of course, when it became uncomfortable to be named Adolph.
"Ah. In Chermany, nobody is named Adolph anymore."
What, not ever?
"No, the government won't let anybody be named that."
They retired the name.
"Vell, not retired, exactly, but yah, I guess, becauze zey don't..."
So Mrs. Hitler has to name her son Gordon or Wallace now?
"Oh, vell, no, dere's no Mrs. Hitler anymore. Zey retired dat one, too."
I'm still sulking. The weather is perfect, which means that there will be MILLIONS of patrons DEVASTATED by the cancellation of Mimi Flambe. Or...well, not. I have an addendum to post to our Mimi Flambe sign: "...will not be presented today~ photo op and autographs only." Fluffy and I will sit together on the bench, mug for cameras and sign programs.
The final Morning Meeting of the season holds a delightful surprise: David Smith, professional freak. "Michael Rosman brought me in," he says, looking down at me, down, bending his long neck, tossing his long hair, looking down that long gorgeous nose. I am afraid to stand near him more than a moment or two, in fear of babbling like an idiot. "You squealed when he carried you across that broken glass," a girlfriend reminds me, with more memory than tact. She confesses that she's also had a crush on him since, like, ever.
Michael! You've been holding out on me.
"I knew you already had a full house. Stop it. I get to have SOME of the cool people."
Up we go on stilts because the grounds are sloggy and disgusting. In the Wine Garden, (more tasting!) we are given bits of meat by a well-dressed Designated Patron, who stands near a group of...Storm Troopers? Yes. There are Imperial Storm Troopers in our village today. One of them hands me his head. Costumer Cindy shows me how to put it on, demonstrating expressively with her hands while giving clear, simple instructions: "Sideways, and then you turn it. Be careful." Yes. I've a good idea of what these things cost. Through the helmet, I can just barely detect several camera flashes. I'm off balance, can't see. Enough.
It's Day of Wrong. Patrons have invented this. Last year, there were two separate sets of Wizard of Oz characters. Every year, men with full beards dress as wenches. The Twins don't dress at all. I've seen a Tigger costume, a Ghostbuster, and now, Storm Troopers. Wrong. But I love it that the patrons are making up their own show. Talk about interactive.
We change to La Blanca Venti, our white costumes on stilts, for a short photo session with Martin. Fluffy brings him a top hat and tails, by wearing them across the site. It's Day of Wrong; he fits right in.
At Fluffy's suggestion, we all don our white outfits and stand, unstilted, outside the front gate, to bid patrons farewell. A final glimpse of beautiful before they face the reality of the parking lot. So long, farewell...adieu, adieu, to you and you and you... That Girl peels off for parts unknown: the children and I remain a few minutes more.
"This is for you. Thank you for a wonderful Faire season." A gentleman hands me a red rose. No. Thank YOU. Really. All of you.
I mean that. Thank you, everyone, for everything. Thank you for the slick photographs, the picture disc, the food and wine and flowers. Thank you for repairing our pixie Trixie, for the music CD, the tee shirts, and the chocolates. Thank you for the encouragement, the cautions, the concern, the kudos. Thank you for the sips of beer, the oyster shooters, the pins, the laughter. Thank you for the admiring glances, the flirtatious moments, the applause, the hugs and kisses. Most of all, thank you for the promise that next year, you'll come back and love me some more.
Believe it or not, I am also paid for this.
The day is over. Sandy has braided my hair for the last time this season. We're packed to go. Martin is off with Hilby. The children and I slog through mud to find the car.
"Can we put the top down, Mama?"
Son. You can see your breath. If we put the top down, you'll be extremely uncomfortable.
"But Mama. Stop a minute. Look at the stars."
And for a moment, there is nothing but sky and wonder, and the Universe, big enough to give me all the love there is and my son, too.
(Seasons of Love; RENT)