on september 24th, i attended waterfire. i did not busk. the weather forecast had been ominous all week, so i decided to go see my brother’s play that day and forget about waterfire. the weather, of course, turned out to be warm and dry and lovely. there was just no way i was going from worcester to middleboro, getting into makeup/costume and gather up all my gear, and arriving in providence at a reasonable time to start busking. instead, wyatt and i decided to go see waterfire with our friend justin. i need to remember to go to waterfire once in a while, not perform, just enjoy.
i parked in my usual spot, the corner of dyer street and peck street, where i have been parking free of charge for a few seasons thanks to the very sweet and very kind gentleman who owns the lot. wyatt and i met up with justin in ten31’s area. i talked to joe about my upcoming gigs, and asked how the night was going for them. he said the crowds were good, but sparse, and he was glad to have only three of the four originally scheduled performers. i felt a little better about not busking. returning to wyatt and justin, i saw my aunt and uncle. talked to them briefly before wandering down to visit andrew. happened to catch him on a break, got to chat with him, stuck around for a bit after he got back up. i’m always mesmerized by his origami talents.
we wandered further down. my pitch looked so lonely. we got some food, met some of justin’s relatives, talked by the river, watched the koi boats go by. i gave everyone suggestions on what to do, as it was their first time at waterfire. and of course i wasn’t performing. son of a bitch. oh well. there’s always next season.
the three of us left the families to do their own thing while we explored. i wanted to see everything. we walked along the river to the basin. i hate walking in crowds, but it’s significantly less stressful when i’m not carrying my tip jar and box. we walked through the peace tunnel. apparently inca son doesn’t perform down there anymore. disappointing. we searched for a tile in the peace tunnel that wyatt and i saw years ago that simply said “WTC”, which happen to be wyatt’s initials. we have not been able to find that damn tile since the first time we saw it.
back to the basin, walking the perimeter, we ran into ben, from roger williams zoo, who was there for a little sneak peak display of the jack-o-lantern spectacular. a delightful surprise, indeed. wyatt and i talked to ben while justin disappeared to take some photos. the topic was, mostly, wyatt’s presidential campaign. ben said wyatt had his vote, and he offered to make buttons for us. i love how enthusiastic people are about my beau’s performance art.
eventually we said goodbye to ben and continued toward the mall. i was curious if any other freelance performers were around. we went up to the mall, around the entire basin, to the ballroom. hung out at the ballroom for a while, watching the crowded dancefloor, not feeling particularly inspired to dance myself. salsa music just ain’t my thing. back to ten31’s area. never saw any sign of sarah paterson or any other statues. has the flood of living statuary finally subsided? or is this the calm before the next storm?
after walking all over the fucking place, the three of us sat on the wall along the river to watch the fires and relax. i remembered what waterfire is supposed to be all about. we sat there until no more wood was being added to the fires. the streetlamps in the park turned on. eventually, things were getting too noisy with the cleanup, and it was getting late, so we said goodnight and went home.
of all the non-busking waterfire nights i’ve had [there have not been very many], this was, by far, the most pleasant.