Curtain up, light the lights

She was so cute standing there on the street corner, with her kitty ears and angel wings. I don’t know who she was, but I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a big squeeze. There was the cardboard sign, too, held just below her bright smile. It said “Free Hugs.” I occasionally see these people in Seattle. They go out in small groups to hug people, and there’s usually some costuming involved. When you ask them why they are doing it, they tell you that it’s fun. I think it’s really cool.

I was wandering Capitol Hill, coming back from a two hour dance lesson. I was suddenly stiff, my muscles tired from spinning and stepping, my feet dragging a bit. Then I saw the Supermen standing on the corner. These two guys were not particularly muscular, but there they were dressed in Superman costumes, complete with capes. The capes were blowing up behind them, and they were talking to a gentleman with a camera. It looked like a random street interview. The spring went back into my step.

Back down at the Pike Place market I passed the fellow who spends his days making balloon animals. He’s always wearing something festive and unusual, and this day was no exception. He had on an intricate balloon hat, but this was just the cherry on the sundae. He was festooned with tattered netting, old seaweed and bits of shells. If he’d been taking a nap, one might have thought that Neptune tossed him back from the depths to ensure that Seattle had a way to fulfill its cravings for tiny twisted poodles and flowers.

This town seems to have a penchant for dressing up, from the jazz-infused hipsters to the drag queens in their shiny stilettos. We love a parade, and we love them so much that we create our own little ones all over town. I live in the middle of an enormous art installation. I love knowing that the next performance is right around the corner. Wish you could be here!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

73. Go out in public in some sort of costume. It can be as simple as a mask or a wig, or as elaborate as you like. How does it seem to affect those around you? Does it make you feel any different?

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