When I set out that morning, I didn’t expect my day would include a Chinese dragon looking up my skirt. But this is Asheville. One day, such things will come as no surprise at all.
The idea, from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, is to have a weekly date with yourself. It had been months since I had deliberately made such plans, but when I found myself with a completely free weekend I figured I was long overdue.
I walked to town to check out “Stories from Asheville’s Front Porch.” Now if that doesn’t sound relaxing, you’re entirely too busy. Stories? Porches? What’s not to love?
As I walked through Pack Square on my way to the performance I saw artists unpacking boxes and putting up tents, setting out tables to display their wares. For what, I wasn’t sure, but now I knew what I’d do after the storytelling.
I crossed the street and that’s when the ruckus began. A gong being struck over and over, cymbals sounding, and a multi-colored Chinese Dragon weaving among the tents. I stood to watch, then took out my camera.
The dragon seemed to be attracted to cameras. I watched from across the street as he zoomed right up to those taking pictures, blinking his eyes demurely. Then it was determined he would cross the street, and I knew he was coming for me next:
At the end of the video, you’ll see that I lose focus, the camera staring not at the dragon, but at the sqaure. That was when the dragon attempted to look up my skirt. I, at first, was a little flustered that he was getting so close to me, and once I realized what he was doing, I stepped away, letting out a surprised laugh, at one point catching the eye of the guy inside who was responsible for maneuvering the dragon’s head. After shutting off my camera, I walked quickly toward my intended destination. I didn’t know what to make of the whole thing. I suppose, when in costume, men do things they wouldn’t do otherwise?
As I walked, I realized the dragon following me. It clicked just then that he was part of the storytelling event to which I was headed–as opposed to a very unusual stalker.
I saw the men come out of their costume for a rest before the event started and I got the feeling the front runner of the duo was a bit embarrassed by his actions–not thinking he’d actually see me again, and not looking like the type who would normally attempt to look up women’s skirts.
And all of this was before my artist date even officially started. It was going to be an interesting day.