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.