©2022 Michael Raven
Tomorrow, I go back in time at the renaissance festival.
No, not the way it might seem. I honestly will be going as a mundane old man me in hiking boots and cargo shorts with a long sleeve shirt to limit any sunburn I might invite by being outside, with a courier bag worn cross-body over a shoulder containing at least two bottles of water and a handful of snacks.
I am inducting my eldest daughter to the Fest life, and she is hopefully going to follow my advice and not try to cosplay her way into what she thinks fest is all about. And if she doesn’t follow my advice, that’ll be on her if she makes herself a bigger target for embarrassment by not researching before she goes. The local festival actors historically have loved targeting someone who is obviously clueless for a good tease.
But — going back in time… I haven’t been to a festival in ages. In part, because I have significantly changed since I returned to the area after a short stint in Seattle and everything felt off the past few times I went since that return. So I stopped. Part of it was the change in entertainment incomes which seemed to result in lower-quality content for a few years running. Another part was that I had changed and gotten jaded by my very negative experiences while I was away. I had a hard time embracing anything smacking of fantasy for a few years there. Arguably, there are times I am still stuck in that mindset.
So, I stopped going.
Well, my eldest daughter has been pestering me to go and I decided that this year we could hit it, although I’m still a bit nervous about covid even though the bulk of it is outdoors. Crowds, you know.
Part of me is wondering how many of the old friends I’ve lost contact with over the years are still spending their August and September each year out on the grounds. I suspect more than a few still do work out there. One, in particular, I know works out there with the rest of her family and I look forward to seeing her for the first time in about three or four years, assuming I can find her. I haven’t tried to reconnect beforehand for personal reasons, so it may be very well that we don’t cross paths. And that is okay, as well.
You see, I haven’t decided that I want to meet up with anyone unless it is in a very organic manner. “Oh, hi! Michael!” Not that I’m entirely recognizable compared to what I looked like before, between aging, being an alcoholic in recovery, gaining a bit of girth here and there.
And that’s okay, too.
In fact, I am bringing one of my notebooks in that courier bag and may send off the kiddo to enjoy the fest without her old man messing up her mojo. It’s not boys she’ll be chasing, and she can handle herself with her aikido if they chase her. But I think she’ll enjoy having her own stories to tell as I sit at a bench and do a bit of old-fashioned writing with a pen on paper, watching all the merry people go by.