Third Day: The End of Opening

Kage Baker loved three day weekends at Fairs-until they ended.

During a three day, you have time to relax, and really get into character and thoroughly overdo things. When the weekend hits Day 2 and does not end a wonderful and completely spurious feeling of immortality comes over you: you have always been doing this,and you always will be. Full speed ahead and don’t spare the rowers!

Friday is all fire and newness and insanity: you sleep the sleep of the just and rise up like a hero. Your strength is boundless. On Saturday you are in the groove, in the moment, in the scene – you realize you can go on like this forever! You can put a girdle round the earth in 60 minutes, or at least make it to the Night Show on an evening meal of pretzels and coffee.

Then Sunday comes. Or, as Kage often referred toit, The Dawn of the Dead. We are all dramatic zombies, wandering through the streets of London looking for our own brains. With adequate experience, though, you will remember who you are supposed to be, not merely who you are: it;s not a bad thing, to go through the day as Sir Mulberry Hawke or a chimney sweep.

Whatever sleep you got on Saturday has proven to be astonishingly inadequate, and you are running on sugar and beer fumes. But you feel great! You may be dancing on the aft deck of your personal stamina while the band plays waltz tunes, but who cares! One last dance, one last glass of champagne, and oh, yeah – better eat up those last chocolates before they spoil …

Eventually, though, the last customer finds the exit and goes home. You hope they are still as ensorcelled and transcendent as you are. You clean up, you change clothes, you regret not bringing a thicker coat; you head home recalling every lovely detail of the day with your carpool mates. Someone falls asleep in the car; hopefully, not the driver – but they’ve been chosen  for a clear head and inhuman strength anyway, so you will all make it to bed alive.

And that’s Opening. I am as wrung out as a bar rag now, so I am going to bed. In the morning I will drive home to Los Angeles with 15 pounds of dangerous laundry.

And get ready to do it again.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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7 Responses to Third Day: The End of Opening

  1. Maggie says:

    You’re as good as being there, kiddo. Better, because I don’t even have to put on a corset. 🙂 Safe home.


    • Kate says:

      I don’t mind wearing a corset, Maggie. In fact, mine is very comfortable. I just wish I could be suddenly zapped into it, because I hate the whole routine of getting dressed! It’s why I played a peasant for 30 years of Renaissance Faires – too lazy to dress middle class or noble! But Kage designed the Victorian Green Man to be respectable, and I was condemned to corsets and hoops and day caps and lace and bloomers and jewelry and … she, however, insisted on playing my housekeeper and never wore corsets at all!


  2. Buffalo says:

    Sitting in the Parlor today, I had a moment- quite a long moment, actually- of perfect, blissful insanity, during which I became convinced that this was, in fact, reality, and everything leading up to, and from, it was some sort of dream.
    I can remember having these moments before, but not for many years, and then only under the influence of unwise substances, taken in large amounts. This time, it seemed perfectly plausible that I was, in fact, Jack Coffey, a boarder at the Green Man Inn, that these were my, quite proper, clothes and that the world I was viewing (both within and without the walls that I had helped raise, just a few weeks ago) was the only world there was. I sat there and tried on the possibility for a few moments, and it seemed quite plausible and…. comfortable, somehow. Then it slipped away, but I’ll be back, next Saturday, to retrieve it. Maybe the moment of happy insanity will last longer, next time. I like it.


    • Kate says:

      Happens to me every Fair. You never know when it will happen, but it does. Kage called them The Magic Moments; she said the best times were when you could see it happening to a customer. Their whole faces changed, and you knew the magic had them.


  3. Luisa Puig Duchaineau says:

    Bravo and well done, then, Kathleen. And ‘huzzah’ for your clear-headed wisdom of waiting to drive back down to LA on Monday, instead of hazarding the trip at the end of Sunday evening. Between freezing fog through The Great Valley, and/or snow over the Grapevine (not to mention utter exhaustion from the weekend’s doings), it is best to get a safe night’s sleep beforehand, and then steam gently home again.

    Sweet dreams and safe travels.


  4. Mark says:

    Bless your lucky stars to have avoided the holiday traffic today…
    (…family crisis having forced me to drive back to LA to deal w/ fallout tomorrow…)

    …I-5 was a sea of brake lights from Los Banos south, after spending nearly 2 hours to go 70 miles, I dodged east to I-99 for a 70mph run through farm country down to meeting I-5 again. The pass was awful & filled w/ people who should never be let out on the road. Elderly folks crawling along at 45 mph in the fast land. Kids in fast cars trying to weave among the trucks to pass on the right at 70. Trucks “drag racing” 3-abreast up the hill. And an accident in the Saugus pass backed up the highway all the way to the Castaic grade. I got off in Castaic and drove surface streets until I was safely back in the San Fernando Valley….and then to home and my own snug bed.

    May your own road home be easier.


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