I am not festival material. I knew this going into the campgrounds on Thursday, and by the time I drove out a day early (yesterday) am even more convinced. On Saturday, with the debauchery amidst, I re-introduced myself to a couple of old friends whom I hadn’t spent time with for quite a while. The first was a translucent, Russian fellow who I sat down with at 11am for two tomato juices. In the morning his company was welcome, and our talks injected the grounds with a pleasant indolence. But I knew how he could get after 4 or 5 hours; irritable and demanding. I wanted to lose him, break away and jostle playfully with my friends from Milwaukee for the rest of the day. But he was tough to shake, and ended up riding my coattails and swimming in my cranberry juice for the duration of my Saturday.
So it goes that upon leaving the concert area, a fellow festival attendee offered to reacquaint me with another past chum, a lover really. One who was colorful and operated under the guise of introspection. A few years back she had clung to me like the fungus she was, and even when she wasn’t around she was always there, threatening the insecurity and panic she can bring about at any moment. But with the Russian by my side a small tryst, for nostalgia’s sake, seemed harmless.
For a small fee I was able to take her to my tent, wrapped safely in a plastic glove that food vendors use for sanitation. She broke apart and burrowed herself down into the index, ring and pointer….she wore three berets and had six legs.
Before I could work up the courage to invite her to dance, I had to sit down and have another talk with the Russian. One can say many things about the Easterner, but shy is not one of them. He invigorated me with a boldness, and I crunched up a large beret with no hesitation….it was getting dark, and as I entered the front seat of my car, decided it might be a good idea if I threw the old girl up. I did, and then inexplicably dined on the rest of her. What ensued was nothing profound, nothing dynamic. I sat in my car and listened to jazz for five hours as the clouds chased a full moon.
Now I feel as if I have conquered or caved in to something……the paradox of old friends.