I survived the Spring 2019 Tucson Street Fair. It was hot, crowded and magnificent.
As usual, I collected a few blue bracelets. Plus one showing I’m old enough to drink beer.
The best part of street fairs are the random conversations with complete strangers.
I will spare you the impromptu song that sprung up in the lines for the porta-potties, accompanied by the nearby bluegrass band, because it was extremely scatalogical.
Okay, just a little bit… the first line was “When you come to the city and you start to feel shitty. Alas, what’s a cowboy to do? Put your boots in the line; you’re going to feel fine. Once you finally reach the johnny to poo.”
My daughter wore her favorite Nightmare Before Christmas dress (she has a few) and with her pink hair and steampunk hat, she absolutely did not stick out. Not even close.
That was the best part of the day: watching her open up and rejoice in her weirdness, realizing that there are places in this world where everyone fits in.
The worst part of the day was dealing with my grumpy ex-husband who refused to talk to me because I had told him earlier that day that he would do what I asked him to in regards to his bonuses, or I would take him back to court and I would win.
I realize that the timing could have been better, but he had been avoiding the conversation and we needed to settle the matter once and for all. I kept my temper, used the sandwich approach, told him thank-you with a hand-squeeze after it was over.
Because, call me a hippie, I believe in one thing above all.
Thus, I would like to end with a happy little soul-hug of a moment from yesterday.
I was standing next to a tub of water bottles, and a lady asked me how much one cost.
I looked around for the vendor and caught the eye of a short Latino male, late 50s.
I pointed at him and said, “Ese.”
I didn’t ask his name, but he was earnest and friendly. So I will dub him Ernesto.
Ernesto offered me a job on the spot. (After collecting $2 for the water.)
I smiled and told him that I was just waiting for my people.
He said, “Tu esposo?” to which I responded that, sadly, I had not been very lucky in love.
“Nobody is lucky in love,” he avowed. “Until they are.”
This profound bit of wisdom offered offhand by someone who (in my bigoted youth) we would have called a wetback made me smile like sunshine.
Ernest took this as a a leap of faith and asked me if I wanted to find my next husband.
I felt the joy of the day fill me. I uttered my favorite phrase from Spanish… “Si, como no?”
The next half-hour involved me scanning the river of humanity that flowed by our spot, searching the crowds for men who met my standards: single, straight, handsome, kind.
When I chose a possible mate (I was much more picky than Ernesto), then my newest friend and matchmaker would run out into the crowd and offer the man a free bottle of water if he would give me his phone number.
The man would look over and I would wave and smile.
No one turned me down. Maybe it was the bracelets. Probably was my boobs. I am sure that beer was involved as well. It did wonders for my self-esteem. You can’t buy that kind of encouragement, even at a liquor store.
But now I have to decide if I’m going to call any of them.
Probably won’t, but it’s nice to think I have options.
Please don’t tell Ernesto.