JJ Vincent shares the secrets of great afternoons-strange people, puppies, and lots of dancing.
Every Saturday, I am at an Artist’s Market with my wares, my girlpartner’s wares, my guypartner, our little dog, sometimes my mom, and a whole lot of awesome crazy. This takes place at an arts co-op where an example of weird would be two guys in suits coming to visit, and normal is a guy in a pirate costume walking his dog and speaking in iambic pentameter.
Besides my house, it’s the only place where I can truly be myself.
This is a place where many of the rules of normal society do not apply. Grab a loaf of the fresh-baked bread there, open the bag, and rip into it. Get thee to the garden table, grab some tomatoes and chomp away. Go see a portrait of Jimi Hendrix in tie-dye, shop in the best-smelling used book store ever, gaze at the puppets and sculptures made from all manner of items (just don’t pop the bubble wrap). If you’re lucky, there will be an accordian player and a young man with his ocarina. There’s probably a guy making portraits of daleks and Cthulu in chain maille and another playing music on hand-made bamboo instruments. The vintage clothing store can outfit you in a top hat, cufflinks, and a lovely feather boa. Like dogs and rabbits? We’ve got them, too.
And then there’s the dance party.
At 3:45, 15 minutes before the market ends, the music turns on. Today we had vintage novelty Halloween music, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and something else highly danceable. You never know what sound you’re going to get week to week. But what you do know is that people will be dancing.
This is not a nightclub. This is not a stage. This is dads and grampas and cowboys and punks and derby girls and Dapper Dans and women in dreads and hippies and hipsters and children and maybe a giant bunny head and the queen of hearts and any and everyone else dancing like no one is watching.
For 15 minutes, once a week, no one cares who you are, who they are, what you look like, what they look like, why you are there, or where you are from. In this place, we are all strange. This is our party. And we came to dance.
-photo courtesy of author
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