Yesterday, DJ and I went to the The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at cow palace. Its by the same promoters as the people who do the northern cali renfests. Last year, drei2 and I went, had too many hot toddies, walked around, ate some pies, and then left. I really liked it, although Im somewhat embarrassed to admit that since it def. attracts a certain subculture of people who like to dress up in Dickens-era clothing and talk in british accents. Plus, I really liked it last time, but since everyone I know has thought it was lame or heard it was lame, or whatever, I was somewhat tentative to take DJ.
I should have known that I would have nothing to worry about–DJ loved it, just as I do/did. Im a sucker for fake disneyland like towns and artificial environments, and he is too. The Dickens Fair is actually pretty ambient and festive and jovial, especially when you first walk in and smell roasted chestnuts and cinammon nuts and hear a live band playing waltzes in a grand ballroom where people in period clothing are swirling around and around. Its almost as if we were watching a movie of that time period being made.
We watched people dance for a while, and then we walked around the “town,” liesurely entering shops to try on top hats and bonnets or to play with handmade puppets. Then we pigged out on their version english fair food–shepherd pies and haggis and bangers and mash. There were so many weird things we saw, but I know that if i were to describe them out of context, they wouldn’t be as funny or as surreal as being there in this strange created environment. Food was awesome. We followed it up with drinks in one of the many bars. Both of us were a little toasted, and it was then that we decided to get our “victorian” portraits done.
At first, we were lured by the photos on the wall of people w/large owls perched on their arms. Unfortunately, they didnt have the owl prop that we wanted. I look more southern belle meets my fair lady than anything, and DJ looks quite dapper in his top hat and tails. The photographer posed us as if we were a couple, which was awkward, Even more so with all of like 90 people watching us. She grabbed DJ’s hand and tried to put it on my shoulder, but I pulled away. I tried to make it into a joke, but I think DJ was offended. I know we were just being silly, but I was wearing a sleevless dress and the idea of his hand touching my bare shoulder kind of made me nervous.
More drinks followed after, and then we sat in the ballroom watching dancers before moving closer to the action. I think that DJ wanted to dance with me. I thought about dancing with him. But then Im guessing he must have thought what I did–that it would be too awkward. Who knows what would have happened had we drank more eggnog w/brandy, but it was kind of nice sitting there with him, at the edge of the dance floor, watching people spin by as if they were floating.
Of course, most of that time was spent coming up with nicknames for all the various weirdos. One guy looked like the prince from beauty and the beast. My god was he into dancing the waltz. He kicked up his legs and would add all sorts of flair to his moves when he danced. Another girl–we thought was a guy in transition–danced as if s/he were frankenstein (not purposely). And then there was a couple who looked like 2 windup dolls running into the wall. Man they sucked.
And then there was the elderly pair, who took a few spins on the dance floor, and then at the end, when the music was over, looked each other in the eyes and thanked one another for the dance. The old man bowed, and the lady hugged him and held his face in her hands and kissed him. DJ first noticed them, and then said, “i think Im going to cry…thats the sweetest thing Ive ever seen.” Gayness.
More walking around followed. DJ and I played this victorian carnival game where you lie in a bed (?) and throw shoes at wooden cat cutouts while yelling at them to be quiet. DJ went first and missed all his throws. An audience had gathered to watch, and when DJ was finished, this little girl said to him, “you didn’t even hit one???” DJ replied that he hadn’t. “Its not THAT hard,” she said. Of course, when it was my turn, I knocked down all 3 cats. Heh.
We spent our last hour watching the Grand Finale, as recommended to us by some guy in the meat pies line. I have no idea who came up with the script/songs/direction for that show, but there was no plot/theme/relevance. It was like watching a carnival sideshow and having no clue as to what was going on. DJs and my head moved back and forth in jerky, rapid motions, as if we were watching a tennis match. Every now and then, we’d look at each other and say, “what the hell is going on?”
Mostly, we were trying to avoid being called on by the ringmaster. There was a lot of audience participation, and we were afraid that if we didnt humor them by singing along to their stupid songs, or following them when they did some simon says type song, then we were going to get spanked on stage or something. At one point during the show, the ringmaster stared and pointed in our direction. This was at the same time the other actors were asking the audience to pantomime playing the fiddle. I had my arms crossed against my chest, unwilling to participate until the ringmaster looked at me and then made a motion to come over. I started air fiddling like mad, to the point where it looked as if I was going into a seizure. As I fiddled, i said, “im fiddling! I’m fiddling!” When DJ saw this, he crumpled over laughing, gasping for air.
Somehow we survived the ordeal without getting called on. The weird thing was, when we left, we noticed all the dickensfair characters were making out…all over the pllace…so…very…weird…and…awkwa
In all, we stayed at the fair for a record 7 hrs. Insane. But I had so much fun, and I guess a lot of that had to do with DJ.
Even though we had spent so much time together, I dont think either of us wanted the night to be over. We didnt have plans, so we decided to chill the rest of the night. We had dinner at ppq (drunken crab) and then dessert at sweeties (house special–so good, so weird…and the ice cream guy remembered me!), and then we took a long walk. I showed him baker beach at night. We were like 2 teenagers sneaking into the park gates–right in front of the parked cop car.
Baker beach at night never fails to take my breath away. It was the first time he had ever been to that beach, and he, too, was mesmerized by how quiet and peaceful and mysterious it was. It didn’t feel awkard being there with him, not in the way I thought it would in time it took for us to walk to the beach. It didn’t feel romantic like it did w/scb, but it felt nice all the same to share that moment with someone else. (Dont read into any of this, there is no subtext).
Then we walked back and even though dj said he had to get home, he ended up staying over until 230am just talking.
It was only after he left, that I started to rethink it all–its impossible not to–how well we get along, how many things we have in common, how we find the same strange things funny, how we’re always laughing. Its nice. Nice. And fun. We always have so much fun together (outside of work). Is it weird to spend so much time with someone who’s just a friend?
when we were talking until 2 in the morning, I tried to change my perspective of him and pretend that we were on a real date. For a few seconds, it felt exhilerating. And then…it returned to being “just nice.”
I wonder what the hell he is thinking.
X2 sent me the last of his photo albums from his bike trip across africa. funny how most of them were of him bandaging himself up in one way or another. Funny also how I was still concerned, and still cared about how he was and if he was ok. I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to seeing him when i go home for the holidays. For some reason, I think the feeling is mutual.