Toot-a-Lute has put me in charge of their website. This makes me happy, as it needs a hell of an overhaul, and they’re a good group of people. They deserve a better on-line face. I’m thinking something sparse and clean, with a little bit of edging in green. In the interests of up-keep, would anyone with appropriate photos send them to me? Your work will be fully credited, with a link to you when possible.
So I’ve returned from Clinton, which wasn’t as strange as I thought it would be. In spite of my worries, I fit in well. It turned out I had fifty or so semi-unexpected friends and acquaintances there. More than I knew the names of, by far. As soon as we arrived, some pirates tucked us into a good camp spot and we were told to make ourselves at home at a number of different camps. Everyone was surprised to see me, but glad. It was fun though the sun beat us hard enough for me to question its self-esteem.
On Saturday, after an initial exploratory wander, Isabella tied me to her merchant tent and put up for ransom. Eventually James set out with this news and fetched Oliver back to rescue me, who manfully offered them his accordion. A price too steep, we decided, so instead we dressed him up in women’s clothing and took pictures. Emancipation was not so easy, as then she wickedly tied him up too.
Later in the evening, we started a dance circle and I taught steps to people and sang with the band. I’d forgotten what that could be like. Lantern lit and dust everywhere, hallelujah. Singing isn’t as terrifying as I remember it to be. It got dark as we were there. I partnered with Gerald for Morris dancing after that. I don’t think I would have gone through with it had I been paired off with anyone else. He’s a lovely giant of a man with tawny gold hair longer than my arm, and our crazies are so compatible that I used his machete instead of a stick during one of our rehearsal run-throughs and the only thing he did was laugh. See, I had this problem where I was breaking his sticks, all of them, until he finally gave up and, because he’s big enough to do so, used a length of tree trunk instead.
Sunday was more of the same. During the day was socializing with the ridiculous number of people I knew and wandering about with Oliver, who didn’t know a tenth of them, playing music, and eventually visiting the lake. It was atrociously cold. When people tell you something is brisk, what they mean to say is, “I would be a coward if I didn’t jump in and cowards are reviled, therefore…” I don’t recommend it. The chance to wash clean of the desert was nice, but the price was a little too high for comfort.
We were dancing and singing again by the time the sun set. When it came to be night, too dark to dance in large groups, I took out my chemical packets of powder and threw them in fires as we traveled from camp to camp, acting as an alchemist, bruising the flames into different beautiful colours. Blues and greens and purples. Instead of a lantern, I used extra long sparklers. The light was fantastical, radiating magic to the drunk people who were watching and didn’t quite understand. I felt like I was creating a circus all by myself. It was almost as glorious as fireworks.
On a more somber now, Veronica and I sorted out as much as is possible in such circumstances. We sat under the shooting stars and didn’t quite cry together, but it was close. We are in sympathy, we both know where the other person is, and I’m glad it worked out. I believe she’ll take time to vanish for a little while, but we’ll carve out a place to be friends again soon. I’m proud of her as I’m proud of myself. I was going to do what she’s doing now, and walk away, but she beat me to it. Honourable we. I’d like to catch her as she’s falling, but it’s not my place. I hope she knows I understand how it’s a lonely thing to be, brave.
Nicole is needing a two bedroom apartment for September. She’s looking for $1000/month maximum, East Van from Commercial drive area to Kits, and nothing over 30th Ave. Laundry on-site and with a deck or a yard. It’s a tricky one, but if you see anything, please drop her a line at 604-306-6188.