07 June, 2009

Report from yesterday's rained-out Red Hot Arts festival in Stevens Square Park.

Raining. Not too strong, but enough to be offensive. Grit my teeth the entire way home. Eight? nine? ten? blocks, gritted teeth. Stopped in at the bodega and picked up a frozen pizza, a pair of loosies and some food for the cat. Running low, won't make it through tomorrow morning without it.
Stepped back out into the rain. Asian fella, dressed like he was employed was staring into the window when I entered, still staring through now. Walked down the block towards home and saw the banner for the arts festival in Stevens Square Park up. Said June 6th, today. What in hell? Is it still happening? Not postponed? Decide toward it and about face toward the park with the frozen pizza and cat food in bag, hoping my loosies don't get wet.
Feet are already wet by the time I get there, smacking of some sort of misery. Cold wet feet in dampened socks and tightening wet shoes. Walk through the park and look in the kiosks. Lots of folks, young and old, cold and miserable like my feet looking sad-eyed and hopeful, hoping to hock some wares. Beatnik scum looking motherfuckers, regular bicycle messenging motherfuckers and their Bettie Page haircut girlfriends, regular dikes with tattoos on the undersides of their biceps looking equally sad-eyed, hoping to hock some of their own wares.
I make my way through the sparsely populated throng of umbrella'd boyfriend/girlfriend combinations, weaving around on the asphalt walkway, looking in on each booth, hoping maybe to see something that will excite me, hoping to see nothing that will.
And all I meet with are the sad-eyed glances of people who meet my gaze. I see expressionist comic book art from unshaven spiky haired blonde guys. I see women with blue hair selling Speedball ink stencils of Lindsay Lohans with Charles Manson swastikas on cardboard. Goes for twenty thirty forty bucks. Not even framed. And they all look up from their copies of the City Pages with that look: Don't look in here if you won't buy anything.
I overhear their conversations... ...got so drunk last night... ...I heard about that... I had the chicken at Chang's the other night... ...had to drive them home... It is by the fifth sixth seventh kiosk that I come to the realization that I am not like them. If I had my druthers, this would be the crowd I would ingratiate myself into and yet I am nothing like them. I am not the person with whom this crowd would hang out. And I look exactly like them. I see a pair of guys, unshaven for days, walking their bikes through the park, through the rain, wearing worn Carhart, wearing work boots, and I am exactly like them in my Dickies work pants, my Sohio jacket. They work in factories like I used to do I bet. They are exactly like me and yet I am nothing like them. I keep walking through, thinking I will see, hoping to see the kiosk with the cassettes or CD-Rs of the pissed off punk bands for a dollar, two dollars, three dollars or less, and all I see is the uninspired wood carvings, the black and white pictures of trees, the comic book expressionists, and somebody with the audacity to charge two dollars for a zine. A zine. Three dollars for something else. Then there's some seashell jewelry.
All the bands scheduled today pussed out because of the rain, nothing to stick around for, pizza thawing, more sad eyes from more sea shell jewelry booths run by forty somethings who got stuck with a bum deal because of the rain. Down a day's sales and nothing to look forward to now.
And as I turn the corner out of the park, I begin to internalize it. This would be a crowd with whom I wouldn't mind hanging out, but I am nothing like them. I have alienated myself again. Just like anything else in Minneapolis, I am more alone when I am around people.
Maybe I'm just moody because I haven't jacked off in two days.

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