|Camelot by Tony Duquette|
I hosted a troupe of traveling performers. They showed up on my doorstep unexpected. There were around twelve players, mostly women with a few men. Representing a variety of ethnic groups, they were lively in the bright sunlight. All of them in motion, talking and laughing. Costumed brilliantly and carrying all kinds of props: balls and bells and wands and feathers and bubbles and fire sticks and tambourines and hoops...
I don't remember any words exchanged between us. I opened the door, saw them on the porch and spilling out onto the front lawn, and, with silent mutual agreement that they were welcome, they entered.
I knew the location as "my mother's house" [I have never been to my mother's house in waking life and she is dead now so no such place exists in the known universe.] There were lots of windows in the house but I did not notice them -- there was so much simultaneous activity inside the house. From somewhere, music: familiar and unusual at the same time; appealing to every sensibility and I thought "This is the only music."
Laughing beckoning whispering smiling focusing
From time to time the ensemble combined attention and sang. The songs were lyric-laden: fast precise language, rhythmic. The lyrics were printed on hand-fans. I wanted to sing along AND I wanted to keep my eyes on the players. I decided to learn the songs by listening rather than reading. [...this relates to a "persistent complaints" I had in seminary and afterwards when I was spending a lot of time with Unitarian Universalists. A standard feature of any service I led was group singing without hymnal or song-sheet in hand and it always provoked some measure of resistance in every setting. I "judged" it a flaw in the UU personality and added it to my list of Grievances About UU.]
Their costumes were gorgeous. Fantastic. Deep true colors. Irresistibly touchable fabrics. Jewels and shells and feathers. Verging on "obscene" but more marvelous than perverse.
The performers spread out all over the very large, multi-level house. There were no long stairways connecting distinct separate floors. Everything connected to everything else with no more than two steps up or down. Something was happening everywhere and I could be wherever I wanted to be by thinking myself there.
When it felt like the festival was drawing to a close, they all began to dance. I danced too and felt how I was not truly one of them. It was a consciousness thing; they were connected to each other because they knew and I was excluded because I did not know. This made me a little sad and a little embarrassed. Before I could sink into either of those feelings, the troupe formed a parade line and a beautiful, gentle woman wearing a radiant, white yellow costume extended her hand to me and with her eyes bid me "Come. Join us."
On the outside, my mother's house looked like a school or factory: three stories high at least, an unbroken row of plain, identical windows on each level. We somehow exited by the front door, filed along the side of building and re-entered by the back door but turned only one corner in the process. The temperature inside when we returned was perfect.
The promenade had heightened the intimacy of the company. People were talking in softer tones now and touching each other: holding hands, stroking cheeks, embracing. Some people lounged on sofas and pillows. The sound of soft, between-lovers type laughter came from different rooms.
|Sweet Caress by Karen Townsend|
After a couple minutes, I noticed there were other chairs and pillow beds and surfaces bearing other guests beyond the red kimono. Kirstin H_____ reclined on one of them. She was giggling. She opened a big, bright blouse to reveal her breasts. Within seconds, her nipples popped up and detached from her breasts, on slender rods, like jack-in-the-box. There was a lever, invisible to the viewers, that K____ operated to make her nipples pop up. Everyone loved it and laughed; they touched and licked the nipples. It was wonderful.
A male guest watched this display with his penis visible on the outside of his snug knee britches (a la Mozart). The penis was tattooed, long but not grotesque, flexible. It existed like a friendly, attached but distinct, entity. Like a brother or best friend to the man. I watched it bend and extend, giving pleasure to the man and other guests near him. A generous penis.
There was the feeling that the party was gathering a second wind.
Someone appeared with a large, dark enamel tray on which lay a large pile of marijuana and smoking paraphernalia. A group of us partook: there was intimate camaraderie but no smoke. The high was extra-ordinary, as though it looked like marijuana but was actually something else.
|After the Party -- by Tonya Engel|
Not everything was picked up. Some furniture had not been returned to its place. I decided I wanted to leave the disarray just as it was for awhile, to sleep in the mess and see how I felt in the morning.
I woke up.