I was planning to go to the Federal Hill Blues, Jazz & Wine Festival just for some photos (as I like to document my life in Baltimore), but I couldn’t find my camera. I tore my apartment up twice before finally deciding to go without it and, looking up at the grey skies, I realized… I forgot my umbrella too.
I arrived at the festival at 1:22pm, and made my way through the half-vacant, semi-organized “wine alley” en-route to the actual art and – more importantly – food sections of the festival.
Boy was I disappointed. It had food and beer, but it was only 3 blocks long. I bought a “Texas Tator” meal ($7) one of the one of the booths, and then realized that I had no place to sit down to eat it. I also bought a fruit smoothie and I barely finished it (I wasn’t about to waste $5 I spent on it). That was all I bought food wise, and I was quite proud of myself for it.
I left at 2:18pm. It was three blocks long, I’d already eaten, and I had no photos to take so…
I exited the festival, but didn’t really feel like waiting around for the circulator…which meant it passed me less than a block into my trip. Now, I definitely wasn’t waiting around for it. I also wasn’t interested in having what the homeless guy who stopped me in front of the liquor store translated. I’m a rotten person… but not nearly as much as the man preaching on the subway about how “the Jewish army has infiltrated our city.”
It was after the train arrived and I had gotten aboard that I witnessed the saddest –yet most hopeful – thing I’d seen that day. A man with the most flattened, contorted face boarded and sat on the bench across from me with his bag. He didn’t say anything; he just sat there smiling to himself and anybody who dared look at him. I almost wish the preacher dude had seen him, but he seemed contented enough just to head home with his bag, oblivious to the rest of the world.
In the end, the camera didn’t matter as I could always take pictures at next year’s event. What mattered was: I there (at the festival), I saw it, I experienced it and looking into that man’s face at the end of the day I realized that I had nothing to complain about either.