The Henna Page Journal
Ozzfest Diary
Catherine Cartwright Jones
Page 4 of 20

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The vendors meet up in the parking lot at 6:30 am. This is my first chance to see the lot of them ... looks like the low rent section of Babylon 5. There are two black vendors with carefully cultivated dreads who have vaguely Jamaican wares and pipes. The proprietress of the bondage booth is in a fuzzy blue bathrobe. There are two dozen of us, and Steve takes each of our booth fees in cash and counts it out, then directs us to our vendor spaces. Because we're the last team to join the show, we get dead last pick. Dead last is by the beer. It's going to be over 90F, and we're on blacktop. Beer here is dispensed in FISH BOWLS; full to the brim fish bowls. We set up, and admire Gwyn's husband's new collection of naughty Kanji. Insane, Sexy, Foxy, and Evil are requested time after time.

The crowd comes through the gate at 10 am. I look for 3 "prettygurlz" to henna for free to start the day .... no gurlz! Just guyz, and they walk in drunk and hostile. The first potential client has 3 green shreds of teeth, is swaying drunkenly, and reeks of alcohol. At 10 in the morning? Rich says that some couples swap off morning and evening shifts being blind drunk so one is left sober to drive each way. The man drops a lit cigarette on the ground, and I accidentally step barefoot on it and howl ... he apologizes, and I say he can make it up to me by buying a $30 henna. I henna his and his betrothed's name on his arm while he tells me over and over about his Irish grandmother.

The next passerby is drunk, red-faced and muscular, and has a bloody lip fresh from a fistfight. He says "You doin' them fake tattoos here? Mine are REAL!" He flexes. I snap, "This isn't fake anything. It's real henna. Fuck off." He does a double take at middle aged me telling him to fuck off, and prepares to pick another fistfight, but looks bewildered. I tell him to fuck off again, and he does. Perhaps he thinks I'm crazy enough to be dangerous.

There are few women in this crowd, and they look intimidated and sulky. Where's someone to do free for the henna fairy?

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