Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cinnamon & Roses

(toh) Okay...I'm superstitious, so I'm sticking with three pictures of my beautiful children on a spectacular fall day... The fair was fantabulous... the day was clear and bright and the sky was that color of blue that cracks your heart clear open and lets dreams in. The picture of Kewyn from the night before was also classic--Bryar dressed him up as she was trying on her dress and said "Mom--look at my Prince Charming!" And Kewyn, who only talks when he needs to, looked at me and grinned and said "I'm Prince Charming." When I'm old and senile and keep thinking I'm living forty years in the past, I hope that's one of the tape loops that keeps playing back in my decaying brain ferment.

The older kids were wonderful--Trystan is wearing a Knight in Shining Armor costume I made him about three years ago, two days before Holloween using the last yard of shiny stuff I could find at the fabric store--he kept getting waylaid by Faire people who wanted to talk--and he was shy and charming when he spoke as only Trystan can be. (He can also be a 6' , 250 lb. walking advertisement for my ineptitude as a parent, which is why those charming moments are so especially treasured.) Bryar's only dark moment was when she chose the matching red three headed dragon puppet to complement her little brother's blue one (he spent a giddy hour wielding that thing and shouting 'rrrrooooarrrrr', which totally justified the price of admission AND the dragon) and then she decided she should have bought something to wear instead. She and Kewyn played dragons this morning, and that buyer's remorse completely disappeared.

Princess Arwyn Star did what she always does--attract admirers. One such, a Faire employee, actually vaulted her stand to come and coo at our little bit of royalty. Twice--the second time she called for her friend to come see the perfect baby she had told her about. I was sort of in awe--I mean, I'm pretty sure all of my children were this beautiful as babies, but Arwyn seems to be attracting more than her fair share of attention.

Mate put to use his pewter beer mug (and bought a belt and a matching loop to hold it) and was genial and forgiving, especially as I dug into the wallet to spoil the children. I should have thought about alcohol years ago. My friend Wendy was...well she is spectacularly beautiful and doesn't look close to her age, but she...she dreams. She dreams as we all do when we're single, about meeting Prince Charming (not the 3 foot version) and seems to think he lives to haunt Ren Faire's, and was most disappointed when he didn't show. The day was so lovely, I was hoping he would, just for her sake.

Besides these moments, there were two moments of twisted surreality that made the day what it was, though.

The first was at the beginning, when one of the costumed roughs slung his arm over his wench and entered the fair... he was wearing a cloak and trousers and leather armbands and a hat with a plume and leather bootsw with pewter accoutrement and...well, not much else, and his chest and his arms and the band of muscles leading down to the band of his trousers...let's just say my heart beat a little (a lot) faster when I saw him, not so much for the physical presence of beauty but for the sheer insouciant sensuality and daring of such an outfit, and my brain, already greased by the clothes and the breeze and the lack of sleep (our little princess didn't sleep much in the hotel) slid into BITTERMOON so quickly I almost couldn't see the reality in front of me, and just like breathing I was watching Ajahn (whose name might change--it's a little close to Adrian for my peace of mind) sit out on the steps of the library, wearing just such an outfit, and watching Torrent approach with a hooded longing in his eyes. And suddenly, the faire became an odd time of duality for me...much of me, my heart and humor, was their, with my children, enjoying the day, but a part of me, the part that kicks in when I'm in traffic or staff meetings or knitting without the tv on, was writing, and BITTERMOON, the book I was working on for my children, became mine at last...of course its a little more sensual now... but it won't be out for a year and a half... and I can always edit.

The other thing that happened involved perfume and my own dogged detrmination to lay claim to who I am... let's just say that when I asked for a scent that said "I may be a chubby mother of four on the outside but I am also exotic and dark and interesting on the inside" these nice people did a little bit of mixing and came up with cinnamon and roses. I was deeply wounded. Cinnamon and roses? I write trashy vampire novels, for sweet wool's sake! I hold the staff record for dropping the F-bomb at innappropriate times! I hold my own (most years) at a very challenging teaching environment, and have gone toe to toe with administrators I thought did not take my job seriously! All of that, and I smell like my grandmother's bridge club? And then, to make matters worse, my husband liked it. And so did my kids. And so did Wendy. And I was aghast--where was the darkness? Where was the little bit of twist that makes my inner life such a surprise? Because, I'm telling you-cinnamon ain't it. (I've never been a big fan of perfume that smells like food anyway.) But everybody loved this smell--everybody. And I've always been a big believer that people's perception of you is your fault--if they think I'm a foul mouthed ass, well, maybe I have been. If they think I'm smart (and you'd be surprised the number of times in my life when I've tried to hide that I'm not stupid) well, maybe that's such a soul-bone part of you that God just didn't mean for it to go and cower in a corner of your personality...and here I was, being gifted with the scent of cookies and roses, without a vampire or a pan-sexual sidhe lover in sight. It was mortifying. I almost didn't buy the perfume, in spite of the fact that it was turning Mate on in a big way. But then, I remembered--I am in charge of who I am. I had the people cut the scent with amber--which, by the by, suggested all that dark twisty stuff and still didn't kill the essential me-ness in the rest of it. I am amber. I am also cinnamon and roses--we have to live with what the good Lord gave us, after all... (And thank you Goddess for the good sense to see that:-)


Starfish said...

Interesting about the perfume. As I was reading it I was thinking "No! Don't buy it! No roses and cinimmon for such a fiesty gal! At least put some frog blood in it or something..." But the Amber was a nice compromise I think. I've been to a fair or two a long time ago...believe it or not I don't like to go because it is depressing to me that it can't be reality. I think I was born in a castle in a former life...

Roxie said...

You are such a gifted writer! Thank you for taking me to the faire this morning! What a lovely trip. I, too, drooled over the youth of bare-chested beauty, and I see completely how he would throw you into writing fuge. Thank Goddess the brain is big enough to let us function in the mundane while we frolic in the fantastic.

It is hard to see your dark side while the most perfect baby in the world haloes you with her glory.