I am an incorrigible optimist — to the point of stupidity sometimes. As in, wow, the thing I was so excited about REALLY SUCKED. But that’s okay, maybe it’ll be better next time! I can go ahead and get excited again!
That said, the first week at the faire REALLY SUCKED. We arrived to find the barn apartment in crumbling, rotting disrepair. The stairs leading up to the back door are rickety and precarious, and it is nearly impossible to climb them without envisioning yourself falling through them and breaking both legs. The living room had an odor of human urine that persisted even after pouring a gallon jug of upholstery cleaner on the carpet. The couch cushions were home to a variety of colors of mold. The kitchen had clumps of mold the size of cotton balls living under the sink as well as some sort of brown sticky resin all over the inside of the microwave that couldn’t be wiped off or washed off, but had to be scraped off with a spoon. The dishes were stuck to each other and the cabinets with the same brown sticky mystery substance. The toilet had a discolored, cracked foam seat and the water heater didn’t work. The ceiling tiles were sagging and had water damage stains, giving us very little confidence about how our ceiling would fare in a heavy rain.
And that’s not to mention anything of the bugs. There were dead stinkbugs everywhere. There were spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and ants on the porch and in the showers downstairs. If you leave a glass of water sitting out and return to it later, you will find a dead moth floating at the top. The bugs here don’t seem to want to bite or sting or take your food or anything else buglike as far as I can tell. They just want to die in inconvenient places. Bugs don’t normally bother me much, but having so many shriveled exoskeletons decaying in my living quarters got inside my head so badly that I had nightmares and foul daydreams of turning into a bug, which dampened my mood severely for several days.
So we went to K-Mart and bought $150 worth of cleaning supplies and spent two days cleaning like maniacs to turn this into a livable space. We chucked the moldy couch off the balcony, ripped up and threw out the piss-smelling carpet, scrubbed years of fecal residue out of the toilet and put a more sanitary seat on it, shoveled mold out of the kitchen, and bleached the hell out of everything. We scrubbed all the dishes by hand, brought someone in to fix our water heater, replaced the soggy ceiling tiles, and swept all the bug corpses out into the woods. By the time the weekend rolled around, we had a clean space with clothes neatly put away, sewing table set up, and scented candles burning. Amber Woods-scented candles.
Then it rained.
During the week, my job is to sew and work on building my skills and inventory so that I can open a Lacewing Costumes online shop this winter. But I also picked up a weekend job working at a booth at the faire. Unfortunately, this job pays commission only (7% at that) and has no items for sale under $369, which price greatly dissuades your average faire-goer. I didn’t get any training whatsoever until the faire opened. And I only made one sale this weekend. And that was to a friend. And I think it was because he felt sorry for me. It could be that our sales were so poor because of the torrential downpours that were driving patrons away from the faire. And the fact that the faire had to shut down early both days because of lightning. But I felt slightly gypped that I spent my weekend touching people’s feet, smiling nonstop and tolerating flirting from overweight, sparsely-bearded men in kilts and only came out $50 richer than before.
And the mud was everywhere. In my hair. In my socks. In the hall. On the dog. On things that stayed inside the whole time.
I expect this week will be better. (Optimism!) Hopefully we won’t have as much rain. I now know important things about my booth job such as the name of the company and how to fill out the order form! Our barn apartment is in working order and feels like home, more or less. I’ve gotten a bit of sewing done and feel passably productive. I’ve met some great people at the faire. And I bought a pair of rain boots. So now, expecting the best as always, I’ll leave you with a picture of my home on a not-terrible day!