On Saturday, we navigated through town to the Abbey Road on the River Music Festival. After several attempts to get to the venue through entrances which had been closed for security purposes, we finally made it to the ticket table.
“Two adults and four children, please.” The adult tickets were $16, and kids were supposed to be admitted free.
Here is a sign of the times:
One child could be admitted for every paid adult ticket. ONE child??? So, like, the maximum nuclear family size is now four?? There were six of us!
“We can sell you another adult ticket; then you could all get in.”
“What’s the difference between adult and child admissions?? Everyone’s wristband looks the same.”
“Everyone’s wristband is the same, sir. Those are just the rules.”
Me: “So, let me understand: We are being penalized for….breeding?! What is that about?!”
Marcus: “Oh, fine, let’s just get in there already. We’ve been fucking around out here for long enough. The kids are hungry, and I want to sit down!”
If not for Marcus, I would have left in disgust, on principle. He bought the wristbands, and we walked in.
During the course of the weekend, we encountered a fair number of stares. After all, we looked like a family. Two hot parents, and four boys, aged 2, 4, 9 and 13. Usually, encounters with other adults (especially women) went like this:
(she smiles) “FOUR BOYS?”
(I shrug and smile) “Well, what’re you gonna do?!”
(She turns and glares at Marcus. I don’t think she realizes it, but she does.)
I looked over at Marcus, “Can you imagine what they would have had to put up with if Jefferson and his kids had been here? Three adults and SEVEN kids?! Okay, toss in Rachel, his oldest daughter, and you’d have four adults. Any way you look at it, we’d still be buying extra tickets.
Once we got food into the kids, and a place to sit in the grass, we really started enjoying the day. The atmosphere was nice, the weather was perfect. Marcus and all the boys eventually lost their shirts and went bare chested. We watched the neo-hippie girls dancing up by the stage in their broomstick skirts and shrunken tank tops which revealed the requisite tattoos on their lower backs.
The aging hippies and yuppies hung back and drank beer. Marcus and I sat, content to keep watch over the flock of boys, who had invented a new game: taking the empty water bottles and pelting each other. They ran around, wrestled and had a great time.
As we sat in the grass, listening to Instant Karma, Marcus lit his Robusto cigar. As he sat next to me and smoked, the smoke drifted around my head and I breathed it in. I love the smell of a good cigar. I love to watch a man enjoying a good cigar. He had been carting the thing around all day while we made our way from the car to the river, then along the river to the festival. He savored that Cuban. I found myself making silly comments to myself about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (How did that cigar factor in, again?!)
Hanging out all day with each other and being in parent/referee mode put us into odd moods. While Marcus and I would walk side by side or with his arm over my shoulder, the physical contact did not extend to anything else. We were very aware that we were not touching bodies, kissing mouths, twirling hair…all those things we want to do when we’re together alone. Marcus found it frustrating. I thought it was hot. It really made the waiting for bedtime all the more intense.
At a point, late in the afternoon, the kids were all up and running around. We were both tired. I was half-leaning against him with my legs extended; ankles crossed.
My face turned toward the hollow of his throat. I was just wanting to smell his neck; the mixture of sweat and Aveda Man. He bent down and kissed me. Three seconds, maximum. It was the only time his lips touched mine in front of the boys.
And, as it turned out, we didn’t have to wait for nightfall to taste each other again.