It’s a Minnesotian tradition – the state fair with all it’s noise and commotion, booths offering foods of everythng imaginable (if you can put it on a stick, they’ll do it) and well-stocked venders only all too happy to hawk it to you. The rides are colorful with bright neon lights that flash and if you’re there at night, they light up the evening sky. The people – well the people are as diverse as you can imagine – every size, every shape, every age, and because of the current obsession with tatoos, every color too! A people watcher’s dream come true, that’s for sure.
This year’s fair didn’t do it for me as in previous year’s past. It might have been that bacon on a stick that I had and that would subsequently get me sick and keep me up all night. Or it might have been that I intentionally skipped the butterfly booth – an earlier visit this year really saddened me because there were so many dead butterflies all over the floors and people were just stepping on them like they were nothing. For some reason I just couldn’t get into the swing of it all like I have in previous years’ past. Still, it was fun and of course watching Amelia have fun is worth the trip no matter what.
One hightlight of the fair was the mysterious and flamboyant woman who painted my face. Amelia wanted hers done so on a whim I thought, “Why not me too!” We walked to the little booth where the painting was being done and we both picked empty seats and sat down. While Amelia explained to her painter what design she had chosen, I on the other was staring quietly ahead, mesmerized by the beautiful woman who sat across the tiny table from me. She too was quiet, and turned her head slightly as if in deep thought. This exchange of looks took a bare second or two, but it seemed much longer. And then as if some kind of spell had been broken, we both snapped out of it, and before I could tell her what I wanted, she said, “I know what you want,” in a thick and very prounced, Europeon accent.
And then the woman proceded to paint away, dipping her brush into the various colors on her paint pad. “Elvis loved loved pink and black,” she said. “Probably as much as you do,” she added. I listened quietly as she continued to paint and talk and only when she had sprinkled sparkles on top of her design did she let me see a mirror. I laughed and told her she DID know what I wanted, and she smiled at that! Then she looked me in the eye and said, “I know you. And I won’t forget you.” I paid her, hugged her and walked out with Amelia, who was finished as well. As we contined on our way I had a feeling that something important had just transpired, but I wasn’t sure what it was. One thing I was sure about though is it was not likely I would forget her either.