The Road, The Quiet


For those of you who may not know, I’ve been on the road since late September. I’m in Texas, now, with their Renaissance Festival. I figure this is a good a time as any to start blogging about my experiences. I wrote this content early this morning.


It’s Monday morning, and, behind the scenes of the Renaissance Faire, our Monday is your Sunday, in that most of us are off the clock.

It’s quiet. The birds are distant, their chirping sweet. There’s a series of bells blooming somewhere, the sound of beautiful metal playing soft, probably not too far away. They are hitting different notes, and it’s stringing into a song. It’s a little out of the ordinary, and in an ordinary town, I’d wonder. But this isn’t an ordinary town—this is the street where the Renaissance Faire community lives.

A gentle breeze lifts a nearby hammock, fluffing it. It makes a soft sound as it inflates, then sighs.  I’m sitting on a white plastic chair in my neighbor’s yard. As the breeze dies down, and the hammock is left, rocking so slowly, hypnotically, between a tree and their trailer.

She’s boiled herself a coffee, my neighbor, on her propane stove, and a cup of tea for me. The tea’s my own invention. The main ingredients are cinnamon sticks and orange peels. It’s bitter, tangy, delicious.

Must’ve rained last night. Little beads of water dot the empty chairs in her yard. It’s fortunate that my kitten doesn’t seem to mind the moisture. She’s happy as a clam, content to prowl around the drowsy yard among the recently fallen leaves.

Word around the sewing circle is, she saw a cat fight down by the dumpster last week, and that’s why she’s been imitating a move she saw the other cats use. It’s sort of a prowl, the kind where the she is all caution, creeping sideways, back arched, toes full of stealth.

Now she’s started jumping around, like a little spring toy.

A zipper opens, which means someone has woken up, is leaving his tent. I can hear the trees’ remaining leaves in the wind. They pick up, for a moment, and the rain’s hanging leftovers slide off, drop down, and touch the earth.

An upside-down, dangling rose, it’s next to a pirate flag, and they’re breeze-bobbing under a red NO TRESPASSING rectangle, which is next to Christmas lights,  which is just under their trailer’s window, which underlooks the gray sky. Gray, indeed. The gray was on the ground, too, this morning, was ubiquitous, was monochrome, but then the fog lifted early.

There’s an empty bottle of Mead on the ground. It’s next to a blue ice cooler, and surrounded by fire ant hills. Beyond this is a rusted crowbar, matted in a thick cake of dirt. It’s hard to tell the dirt from the rust from the indents in the metal. A long piece of dusty rope is tied to the end of the crowbar.

It’s a beautiful day off, here. Tomorrow, I’m destined for Oklahoma for a couple of days, where a new and interesting job awaits me. It’s funny how having nothing but loose ends can lead to the formation and tying of knots.

Anyone want to take care of my kitten for a couple of days?

~Ezekiel Strawberry




Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

3 responses to “The Road, The Quiet

  1. Last June was my first time vending at Ren Fest. I discovered such a different feel, and appreciation, for the work and beauty involved. As a patron, all you see is the pretty “after”….after the early morning work, after the artisans set up shop, after the foods is cooked long enough the scents waft down the lanes.
    As a vendor, I loved getting there early in the morning, watching tents go up, silence changing to murmurs changing to laughter and happy conversations.
    I can’t wait to do it again!

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