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Festival Part III (Mr. Houston cont.)

April 29, 2016

Saturday morning I woke up around 9. I hadn’t heard from Mr. Houston yet. I texted him.

“What’s up,” I used the ubiquitous, noncommittal text of every male on the planet.

“Blue sky,” he responded. Annoyed, I called him. I could tell he was in the car.

“Where you going?” I asked.

“A friend’s house,” he replied.

“Are you coming here or not?” I blurted.

“Yeah, boo boo. I’m outside of Beaumont. I’m coming. I’m coming.”

“Ok.” I said.

“You take a long time getting to the point.” he teased.

“I know,” I said, feeling the weight of my own weird insecurities and the training of 20 years pull my shoulders down.

“Fine, then.” I said. “I guess I better go bathe.”

I picked out proper Festival attire and fixed my hair. I am loathe to admit it, but I parted it on the side and curled it a little because I knew he liked it that way.

And then there he was at my door. Actually there.

He kissed me passionately and our Festival foray took a detour into the bedroom.

Then we headed out for cajun food. As we walked toward downtown, other people were trickling in and a few people were guarding a parking lot.

“Is this Festival?” he mocked me.

We turned the corner onto Jefferson Street to meet a growing crowd, a street band and cirque du soleil stilt walkers lumbering down the street.

“This…….is Festival, boo boo,” I told him.

He was impressed. We walked down to a new biergarten that just opened in time for Festival. My friend Lucy had a booth there and I wanted to say hi. After we found her and made introductions, Mr. Houston pointed to a face painting booth. We had joked about getting panda tattoos. “I wonder if she can do pandas,” he said.

We went over to her and I asked. “Sure,” she replied and googled a cute anime panda on her phone. He went first. He sat on a stool and laughed as she painted a little panda on his cheek. He pulled up the stupid panda song to “set the mood.”

Is this how normal people behave? I wondered. Mr. K would Neh-Ver! have had a panda painted on his cheek. I was delighted by this display of mellow fun. I had my turn and the artist added a little heart in the panda’s hands. We took a panda-claden selfie and he sent it to a few friends, laughing the whole time.

A little girl waiting her turn was picking out the face she wanted. Seeing our cheeks she said, “I want a panda.” We broke out in laughter. “We started a panda movement,” Mr. Houston said with his Indian accent. “Before you know it, everyone will be walking around with pandas on their cheeks.”

We went to the main stage to catch an Indian/Pakistani/Afghanistani band. We were sitting on the hot pavement, waiting for them to set up. There was a group of chairs just in front of the stage barricades. “Let’s go sit in those,” he suggested.

“Those belong to someone. We can’t do that,” I said.

“Sure we can. Let’s just go ask.” He walked up to someone is one of the chairs, bent down to say something then called me over to join him in a chair. I laughed. I would never have done that. Sitting there in the sun, I remembered how I snobbishly reacted when my sister appeared in a lawn chair.

The band was from Houston and he knew them. He even made eye contact with the leader and got a shout out. The music was very meditative and we sat there, our eyes closed at times and just enjoyed the weird sounds.

He wanted to meet Liz and Amy, so we rendezvoused at the biergarten again. Liz and I told Pamplona stories and Mr. Houston mocked her friend for living in a Houston suburb. He held my hand across the table. He was easy and funny. The sun was low in the sky and everyone passing in the street was lit with subdued lighting and a slight halo around their heads. The weather was perfect.

“I could sit here with a zoom lens for hours, stealing pictures of people,” I told him. “You should,” he said.

There were a couple of bands I wanted to see that night and I was feeling tipsy and grimy. So we went home to take a restorative nap.

Our sex thus far had not been that great. It was ok. It wasn’t bad, just not exceptional. That afternoon, there was significant improvement.

My ex, Mr. K used to accuse me of being a selfish lover. I won’t get into the details of why I didn’t think that was true. But, I’m beginning to wonder if he was right. I don’t know anything about what other women are like but I’m starting to get a picture from various reports. Apparently I’m a bit of a challenge. One has to adjust, learn and tweak one’s repertoire…..so I’m told. (Though Z didn’t seem to have much trouble.)

That afternoon, Mr. Houston found his routine, so to speak and he treated me to an hour of bliss. It was wonderful. Meditative, almost. And very satisfying for both of us.

As I fell asleep in his arms I heard African beats combined with Cajun accordians and relaxed into a warm contentment.

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