… They were actors, not kids running around without their parents. I realized this when I saw other youth, similarly dressed, running the concession stand.
My brother and I texted back and forth a bit: he assured me that he would have come with me, if he were closer. I continued to people watch from my perch on the bench: I saw a friend, dancing close to the stage, and I watched her freedom and ease with envy (yup, I was still stuck in self-pity mode). Finally, I got up, during a break between songs, and I offered my friend’s husband one of my donuts. He and I traded–an apple cider donut for a glow stick bracelet–and I walked back to my bench, with just one donut remaining, a donut that I was going to toss into the trash.
Before I made it to the garbage can, I ran into my friend, and without a hello or howdoyoudo, I asked, “Want a donut?” (I focus so on tasks sometimes, that I can’t sidetrack). She examined it, bit in, and savored the deliciousness–and from that simple gesture, my self-pity party was over. I connected. I reached out. I shared.
Together, we moved close to the band and began to dance. We danced through several sets, only stopping briefly for a visit to the ATM, to purchase water, or to the ticket line. Other friends joined us, and over the course of the night, the coolest thing happened: these tween girls somehow decided that they wanted to dance, too. They started dancing, and then rushed the stage, joining Cousin John Band for the performance. You have to check out the video of them on the CJB Facebook page that I linked up above (I still haven’t figured out how to embed videos). Also, our dance floor turned into a mosh pit, with the addition of several high school age boys who flirted with my friends and me.
While I loved hearing my friends play, the highlight of the evening came post-show. As my friends prepped to walk the Haunted Trail, I said my goodbyes, gave my hugs, and prepared to leave. It was not to be. They insisted I come along, and even stuck a trail pass sticker on me. Now, I couldn’t pass it up–it would waste $30, as my friend so kindly reminded me.
I freaked out, a bit, and began to ask her about what the trail was like: I shared about a time when I had been terrified at my client’s, due to a dripping ceiling (I had thought it was either a ghost or a thief, and had laughed hysterically, rendered useless). After she heard my questions, she volunteered her husband–he could hold my hand and walk with me through the trail, protecting me from the actors. I laughed, that was unnecessary. But then, we walked up to the trail, and seeing some of the trail, I grabbed his hand, grateful for the company and the security.
We made it through–I won’t bore you with the specifics–and I managed to survive without ANY of the actors glomming onto me (they always scent out the scared ones). I chalk this up purely to my protector.