Saturday, September 25, 2004

Silly Pagans (redux)

Last Sunday was Pagan Pride day up in Salt Lake (Murray Park, actually). I had been planning to ignore it and go to the Gnostic Mass the night before instead. But the Oasis rescheduled to hold Mass at PPD. So I found myself hanging out with the crazies at PPD. I say ‘crazies’, but they are all cool folk who just dress a bit funny. And act a bit funny. And think a bit funny. Like I said...crazies.

I had two intents in making the trip. First was just to get some ritual. It’s been way too long. The second was to ask Bill about my t-shirt. I had ordered the thing over the internet way back in June. After waiting too long to get it, I dropped an e-mail hinting the I was still waiting. Bill fired back that he would check the mail (see if it was returned, etc.) and look into it. Then nothing. So I asked again. Another mail saying he would check it. Finally I emailed him saying either send it or tell me I’m just out of luck so I can stop worrying about it. He promised to check the mail, etc. again. So I had it all scripted out. I was going to walk up to Bill and say, “So. Do I get a T-shirt or not?” Then I would give the ultimatum that if the answer was “Yes”, he better damn well make good on his words. But if he knew in his heart the answer was “No”, he should just tell me to my face that I was fucked and I would accept his answer. But the LAST THING he should do is tell me yes then leave me hanging again. “Just close the issue for me.”

Alas, I show up and Bill is trying to set up for Mass. The weather is not cooperating with him. It was blowing, and cool and threatening rain. One look at Bill and I could see he was frazzled. One look at Gretchen and I could see she was OK, but dealing with a frazzled Bill. He was fighting with the alter curtain. So I trotted off to the car and got some rope then tied off the problem bits. I sort of tried to help with a few other things. Then the tomb was blowing down – something that would be a problem through the Mass. So I parked myself next to it and made it my job to keep it erect (so to speak). Somewhere in there I found the Oasis vending booth, bought a t-shirt and hauled it off to the car. I had long ago decided that Bill had enough hassle without dealing with my t-shirt problems, so I just ponied up the money and chose to let the whole thing slide.

Mass was good for the circumstance. The wind let us mostly alone, but the ‘public ritual’ setting watered it down a bit. This was not to be avoided and they did a good job.

After Mass I stepped in to help take things down. It was more work than I expected, much of it requiring two set of hands, such as folding the alter covers and curtains. I was a wee bit more useful taking things down that I had been in setting up. Finally, after I was just getting in the way more then helping, I told Bill goodbye and thanks for the Mass. He asked my name and there was an instant dawning of recognition. He apologized for not getting the shirt thing taken care of, explaining the during our discourse his mother developed some health problems and he was having to deal with that. He then told me he would take care of it, but I explained that I got my shirt at the booth, I didn’t want the oasis to lose money on the deal, and he should let things stand. I had to tell him twice so he could see I really meant it.

Then he asked if I was from Utah Valley. Yup. By the time we parted we had agreed to meeting after I got back from Arizona and planning the process of getting something going with the OTO in Utah Valley. So when I get back from visiting Kate, I drop him an e-mail, schedule a coffee and planning session, and we are off. Or something. This isn’t really what I was planning on coming home with, in other words it wasn’t at all the script I was planning on stepping onto the stage with, but it was good. I don’t know if I would say I was ‘excited’ when I left (it is just too strong a word), but I was feeling upbeat.

About the time Mass ended the wind picked up, thunder was heard, and it started to rain. It waited just long enough for Mass to be done – great timing. The pagans all gathered under the pavilion, safe from the rain, but cheering whenever another thunderbolt was heard. Crazy people.

I also ran into Nancy there. I thought she had left town for good (maybe she had and was just visiting for ppd). She had a booth. Told me Marion wanted to talk to me to pass a message along to Kate, but Marion never showed. The impression I got was that some of the merchandise in her booth was Marion’s. Not that it matters, really. Just an observation. Makes me wonder if the itch to run a shop is too great and maybe Marion will make another go of the retail thing.

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