I have reached a point in my story where I am not sure how to proceed. Up until this point (11,000 words) I have known what will happen next. Now I am waiting for inspiration. While I wait I might as well tell you all about my very informative and fun night last night.
Last night my friend Tami took me out to an Ecstatic dance in Grass Valley, CA. I had never been to such a thing, but I had heard of them during a a comedy show, where the comedian was doing a sketch about Portland. While she was visiting she had been asked out dancing. She said yes expecting a fun night on the town and what she got instead as free-form dancing, with a bunch of people in socks, who held hands at the end and talked about their experience.
That’s what I went to last night. Thanks to the comedian I knew what I was getting myself into. The event’s website clearly stated that the dance was drug/alcohol free. But we are in Grass Valley, where the main economy is marijuana, and it is November, which apparently it is harvest season. I learned last night that you don’t ask what people do for a living here. Or at least the people at the type of event I was at. Everyone works on a “farm”. I learned this by standing in line for the bathroom.
I was trying to make innocent conversation with the woman next to me. She was complaining about how she had not had time to go home and change after work. She was dismayed at how dirty she was. I didn’t think she looked dirty so I told her so, while she unzipped her sweater and started trying to brush off bits of green stuff from her shirt. I then asked what she did. She told me she worked on a farm, and then said, “but I guess everyone does that during this time around here.”
I made some noncommittal response because I honestly didn’t get it.
“Someone has to do it,” she said finally.
I STILL didn’t get it. For those of you who have gotten it now, I just want to prove that I have too: she meant that someone had to harvest all that bud so that the rest of us could enjoy it. Just like someone has to milk those cows or harvest the wheat.
Tammi had over heard our conversation in the bathroom. She was the one who pointed out to me what “farming” was around here and that most people just don’t ask about each others professions. She is a little different. She is a single mom with two kids. She is constantly having to ask people if they grow or smoke. She doesn’t want her kids going over to a grow house, and she doesn’t want to date a guy who is in the marijuana scene.
That was the beginning of our night. I had a great time dancing. I think I danced for close to two hours straight. Tami and I just did our own thing, like everyone else on the dance floor. You could do whatEVER you wanted, because guaranteed there was someone next to you doing something even weirder. There was a woman who wore a long dress and shawl and just swayed for two hours with her arms stretched out. There was a man who crawled around on the floor like a bug. There were people meditating (though how you could meditate with all the crazy going on, I have no idea). There were people doing yoga. There was a woman who was screaming. I kid you not. She would just scream in the middle of the song for no reason. I kept looking around to make sure I wasn’t the only one noticing this, but I was. Everyone else was lost in their own little dance world. So I went back to dancing too, but every time she did it I jumped and wondered if she was dying.
There were kids, men in bell bottoms, women in sports bras and leggings. Most everyone danced alone, but their were a couple of folks who danced together, but none of it was sexual, which kind of surprised me. Whenever I have gone out dancing there is always the couple who grinds too much and the couple who makes out while grinding. There was none of that. It was all very respectful (minus the screaming). The only thing (besides the screaming) I could have done without was the smell of body odor mixed with weed.
Anyway I had a great time, but now back to the novel. Wish me luck, I think I will need it today.