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Festival Part I (Mr. Houston cont.)

April 27, 2016

I had the day off Friday. Festival Friday. Mr. Houston was supposed to drive in that night. He said he was excited to see me and this international festival I spoke so highly of. I had a volunteer shift that afternoon with Liz, so I had time to tidy up and get a few things done.

As I flitted around, I had this gut feeling that he wouldn’t come. I was waiting for him to cancel. I didn’t know if it was a leftover defense mechanism from the chronic canceled plans with Mr. K when I was married, or if it was genuine intuition. I wouldn’t let myself believe he would be there until I saw him at my door.

Expectation is a hard thing to regulate. It’s companion, hope naturally wants to invade your mind, especially when plans are made, preparations are taken and promises verbalized. As hard as I tried to maintain nonchalance, I really wanted him to come. Going to Festival is so much more fun with a companion, especially one you can hold hands, dance and kiss with. I didn’t want to go to Festival alone again.

When he texted that he might not make it Friday night, I had a visceral reaction. I knew it!, I screamed to myself. First it’s going to be ‘I’ll drive in tomorrow morning,’ then it’s going to be ‘maybe I can come Saturday night,’ then the inevitable, ‘I’m not going to make it.’ My imagination rushed to the worst case scenario, attempting to shield my heart from the disappointment to come.

“If you can’t make it please tell me now.” I texted.

“I’m coming panda boo,” he said.

I sat down and began to cry. I didn’t know why I was crying. It wasn’t even about him. It was the memory of that gut-wrenching feeling when I heard again and again, ‘I’m going to be late. I might not make it. I have to work late. I’ll probably be one more hour.’ It seemed like I spent my marriage waiting for Mr. K to show up, trying to mitigate the expectations, to push down the hope and swallow the disappointment. Birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, awards, family gatherings, dates….it was always the same: plans made and abandoned. That feeling was there again, like bile rushing into my mouth. I didn’t want to feel that way again.


The volunteer shift was fun. Liz and I usually sell Festival pins, messing with people and putting on a show in our little booth. This time we volunteered at an event that gave festival promotors all over the world a chance to exchange ideas, network and meet local talent. We were put in charge of checking VIP bracelets at the entrance of a little porch at Artmosphere. So, we basically drank beer and shot the shit.

We had our nicknames on our name tags, Kitten and Pickle. A local band member asked Liz, “What kind of pickle are you?” she paused searching for an answer. I knew he was trying to create some flirtatious sexual innuendo but it wasn’t quite working.

“She’s a sweet pickle!” I said, saving them both.

We finished our shift and I went home to change before heading out for some music, sans Mr. Houston.



From → Rantings

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