He came over the day after the reunion, and though we were not home, left several containers of maple syrup (one of the family businesses) and an invitation to a barn party that he would be having the next day. So Monday night, we went to see Beetlejuice and his friends. He is, I have to say, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, but I can only describe our evening as a cultural exchange.
Dh advised me to wear my jeans, a t-shirt and my gym shoes. This time I listened, for the most part (I did wear my sandals). We'd have to walk through who-knows-what, he explained, in the dark. Pulling into the residence, we passed the old, white farm house and several old barns, parking near three campers, tilted at odd angles and quite a few pickups that were being used for parts or were vehicles of party-goers. It was hard to tell. We picked our way to a barn-like structure. In the dark, we found a 10-foot (at least) stairwell to the second floor.
Children, dogs, men and women were all over the unfinished room occupied by a pool table, bar, amplifiers and electric guitars. A bearded, older Willie Nelson wanna-be sang to himself in the corner as he played the drums. My brother-in-law had pre-warned us not to go on the balcony if there were a good number of people out there, for he wasn't sure of it's structural integrity. I stood with one foot out the door, and one inside, not venturing out where several were gathered to watch fireworks and set off their own.
I watched in disbelief as long-haired and bearded men, holding a beer in one hand, held bottle rockets lit from their dangling cigarettes and watched them sail into the sky. No one was seemingly concerned about the fact that children were darting in and about this balcony which, evidently unfinished, did not have a railing all the way around. Dh discussed barn demolition with our host, another of the family businesses. In fact, this building was made of wood from dh's family's barns that they'd dismantled.
I moved back into the building sipping my now warm beer. I wanted to get into the middle of the building because I could feel it sway. I prayed that my children would not be deprived of their mother and father, buried in rubble of a collapsed building. This concern gave way to a fear of fire, as the band members began what I think was tuning their instruments, and the lights occasionally flickered from the amps being pulled. Still, I sat on my vinyl ottoman, which was missing one wheel, and tried to look non-plussed about it all.
After checking wires and mikes, re-assigning who would play bass and who would play acoustic, I thought at least I was going to hear some good, maybe not great but good, music. I have never heard such caterwauling in my life. The thought crossed my mind that I wished I knew rock lyrics, for I certainly could do no worse.
After the second song, I began regretting having two beers and politely asked where was the potty room. I was told it was anywhere you wanted it to be outside. #$#@^%). Now what was I going to do? Dh offered to stand guard but I declined. I tried to ignore the pain of a too-full bladder while having my ears assaulted at the same time. A great furry dog tried to burrow under my legs, scared by the fireworks outside.
Finally, a woman came up to me and asked if I needed to "potty". Yes, I nodded gratefully, and as she led me down the steps, she said, "It won't be pretty, but it'll do." I pictured an outhouse or port-o-let. Gross, but I could handle it. Maybe one of those run-down campers. Dirty, but serviceable. We got outside, she handed me a Kleenex and directed me to the rear of an old pickup truck.
"I'll stand here, honey and no one will see you." I looked up and saw children and men leaning over the balcony, twirling sparklers.
"No, thank you," I said and briskly walked back toward the "barn".
"Oh, honey," she called after me, "you're making me feel bad."
"It's alright, really. I don't have to go that badly, and I'm just not a potty outside type."
We returned to the room, and me to my cantilevered ottoman, and I wondered how long I'd last or if the whites of my eyes were yellow yet. The next song began, and I vaguely recognized it as "Tequila Sunrise". I looked at dh pleadingly. It was late for us, and I hoped we could leave. He made our excuses, and we slipped out.
Well, you might think, she lives in Kentucky, what can you expect? Come on now, how many of you were thinking that? Now that I'm home, I can tell you that the Reunion and party were in northeastern Ohio, where dh grew up. I don't think I'll tolerate Kentucky jokes ever again!
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