What can we conclude from the fact that it has taken me a week to write up last Saturday’s shift at the Farmers Marker, one which included a surprise appearance by Amy Millan, the original Honey from the Tomb? I must be on a non-stop carnival of excitement, pushing each day to its limit in my relentless pursuit of good times. Or, I waste a lot of time somehow. I don’t know which is more likely.
It was pretty singular. In all respects, it was an ordinary morning at the market. Despite announcing it on Facebook a full day in advance, none of my friends were going to make it out. Maggie had already had her face painted and glittered. Two or even three people had bought meat. I was sucking on my customary veggie smoothie (2 points!) and thinking about jumping ship to our veggie-selling neighbour out of boredom when Mason nudged me.
“Look who it is,” he said, pointing toward a camera crew in front of Heather, the afore-mentioned veggie-selling neighbour.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” I replied, having eavesdropped on the conversation between the crew and Heather without really learning anything other than they were going to keep her business banner in the shot.
In front of our stall? In the gloom of the first cloudy Saturday all year? What?
But it was, and I watched surreptitiously as they did…something. Amy was wearing a bright dress and really high shoes, which made her look like an exotic bloom in our earth-toned granola market. I caught her eye once and waved, earning a confused smile before she went back to her business. This was the first time we’d met outside a concert, and context is everything. I decided not to bug her if she didn’t figure it out. I drank my smoothie too quickly, wondering if she would.
She did, of course. It was early for musicians, even if they also take care of a toddler every day. She came over to chat, asking if this is what I did when I wasn’t geeking out in audiences. I was reminded of a conversation Mason had years ago at a market with a vendor wearing a BSS shirt; when asked he said that he went to school with “some of them.” “Everyone I went to school with is either a farmer or in BSS,” he concluded. Seen in that light, it’s only natural Amy, Maggie, Jeff & I would meet again at a park, selling natural meat.
She was tired, and we only had a few minutes to talk before she went back to her thing, but when Maggie came back from her cookie run I took her over to see if Maggie would look at Amy this time. “I’ve been playing Old Perfume for her,” I said, “but she’s decided she doesn’t like Elevator Love Letter.” Then she asked if I’d heard the new song, which I hadn’t, and she chided me good-naturedly about the fact that 4 days had already passed. That’s what I’m like in the summer…I’ve been hermitted so deep since July started that I’m lucky I remember there’s an outside world.
Of course, now when I’m dressing my daughter to leave the cocoon, I can take with me the knowledge that my daughter and the daughter of my favourite singer* have the same sandals.
* Sorry you had to find out like this, Nick Cave.