We dressed warmly and piled into my car for a trip to the Flea Market on the opposite side of the town in which I live. The trip took about 20 minutes, mostly because we had to get off the interstate and circle back around on the service road to get to Ye Olde Flea Market. It's not really called that but because of the lateness of my years, I can't remember exactly what it's called. I figure it this way. Why cram all that useless information into my brain. I'm saving room up there for important stuff, like my name, address and how to dial 911.
This flea market has grown tremendously since my first visit there 10 years ago. Then it was junque, cheap imported, break as soon as you open it up, stuff. Off brand tools that a good torque would cause them to snap into. I never went back. I didn't go back until a couple of weeks ago so I wasn't aware of how much expansion had happened. Rows and rows of seller stalls, branched out tin covered vendor buildings sprawled across what used to be open field with every imaginable display of stuff you could live without but you end up with it anyway. I go because of the books. Book sellers with their wares lined neatly and categorized in rows and rows of shelves. Three dollars for hardbacks and two dollars for paperbacks; I like these prices. On the most recent visit, I bought 3 of the J.K. Rowling books for 3.00 per hardback. I have number 1 in the series and when I find number 2, I'll have the whole set for a mere pittance of what they would have cost in the book stores. I want to start reading them; I want the whole set before I start.
The best part of the trip is the people watching and there were plenty of 'peoples' to watch. I note all the nose rings, tongue rings, the tattoos, the clothing that doesn't exactly appear in the latest fashion mags, and then I start to wonder where these people find employment. Do they remove all these accoutrement's that adorn their eye brows, lips and nose before they surrender their application for scrutiny? Does the interviewer ignore all this hardware or maybe the hardware disappears for the interview. I could see and watch them all day. I like to see the faces. How can so many faces be in one place and no two faces appear identical. The minute spacing between the eyes, the spaces from lip to nose, from cheekbone to cheekbone and from cheekbone to chin all contribute to faces that appear unique to each person. We are a collection of spaces. Without those differing spaces we might all appear as copies of each other. I still like to look and take note.
Funnel cakes frying in oil, gumbo, burgers, fries, chili covered french fries; fragrances announced to all what was available for purchase. Families lounging on picnic tables in the middle of this market taking a break to supply nourishment to their young crowded in. More people watching and it was a freebie entertainment bonanza.
Daughter who had wondered away from Carrie and me called me on my cell phone. She was on aisle 200 and was calling to report that Santa Claus had been spotted. I whispered to Carrie while taking her hand to guide her through the crowd "Santa is here". She looked up and like a sunbeam, a big smile crossed her face causing her eyes to crinkle up; her whole face was smiling. Carrie has never made it to see Santa in her young 4 years of life. She has heard stories and seen many pictures but to see Santa in person has never happened for her. Most children experience fear when they see him for the first time and are too young to understand who he is. With Carrie, we waited until she was 4 yrs old and had watched movies and seen pictures of the big guy with the white beard and red clothing. She was ready.
Fearless she faced him and you could see her excitement. He was sitting on a chair behind and to the side of a table where the photographer was signing people up to have their child photographed with the Big Guy. Carrie didn't notice. She headed straight for him and when she reached him she threw herself onto him and wrapped her arms around his waist for a big hug. She clung to him for a while then stepped back and asked to sit on his lap. From her perch, she beamed at us. That was one happy child. No fear. She had finally found him, this man she had heard so much about. We had her photographed with him and she begged to stay right where she sat. I coaxed her away with promises to take her back to see him and on December 12th he will be downtown for the Christmas celebrations and I plan on keeping my promise.
Carrie is a bright child. I almost shy away from telling her this Santa lie. She remembers everything and someday she may question the lie we told.
I hope she doesn't notice if there is a slight difference in the Santa's. The one we visited at the flea market had on oblong wire rim glasses that sat on the end of his nose. This is something she might take note of and question the difference in the Big Guy's appearance. It will be interesting to watch her reactions to the next jolly fat guy in the tasteless red suit.
I would cancel Christmas but for the children. The children are Christmas.