M wore a crown of icicles and sang while A bellydanced. T displayed her trompe l'oeil paintings with their gilt door knockers and oil-and-beer woodgrain and veined multi-colored marble. A photographer set up a studio in the back room with an array of magical-looking props. S sold her jewelry and someone I do not know sold a variety of wrought iron figures, including a bat skeleton which I would have purchased if only I had a wall to hang it on. Fashion designers and their gazelle-creature models scurried around backstage. K showed a collection that was made almost entirely of the sort of thing that I wear clubbing: little corset-vest things, bare midriffs, pouffy bustled skirts to just below the knee, and kid leather gloves, topped with big hair and jaunty little hats. I would have happily purchased just about any of it. In fact, I think that I need one of those hats.
People asked how long I had been performing and said nice things about my act. The owners of the gallery asked if they could hire me the next time that they need an aerialist, and I said yes, but that next time I would bring a rope rather than a tissu. J and I toasted to our successful collaboration with rum and cokes because we were all out of champagne. I talked to people that I had not seen in a long time and felt pleasantly reconnected to many of the things that I had enjoyed about Burning Man - the notion that people might get together to create a maximum level of beauty with a minimum of fuss. I was pleased to know so many talented people, to stand next to them, and possibly be thought of as one of them.
In the morning, I woke up and went to the Deco sale, where I promptly spent half of the previous night's aerialist earnings on an enormous black velvet hat, which is sure to help in my continued efforts to impersonate Cleo de Merode, and a pair of a crocheted summer gloves. At my very next aerials class, I climbed thirty feet up in the air because I no longer had to practice with that low-ceilinged gallery space in mind, mastered a tricky move that required a lot of flexibility, and created a new drop.
I may now declare my weekend a success.