So I spent Memorial Day weekend in the gorge at Sasquatch Music Festival. It was terrific. So much happened.
Let me tell you about Ryan.
After the Mumford and Sons show, my friends and I had agreed to simply wait in the flat area in front of the stage for everyone to clear out so that we could find one another. The tides of the crowd pushed me to the back, where I waited.
As the mob cleared, I scanned the stragglers. I spotted my group, and started weaving my way to them.
On the course I had chosen stood a man. Dressed in jeans and a hoodie, he was standing stock-still in the middle of the floor, obviously stoned.
As I passed, he called, “Excuse me!” Surprised, I turned, “Yeah?”
“Okay,” I complied.
“Let me see your hand,” he said, catching my right hand and turning it over. “Ooookay,” I considered pulling away.
Holding my hand like a sinner begging a priest for forgiveness, he earnestly said, “My name is Ryan, and I have no idea where I am.”
I made a sympathetic comment as, still clasping my hand, he continued, “I was with friends, but they left me, and I have no idea where to look for them.”
“No idea like, space, or time, or what?” I asked, jokingly. He just stared at me blankly.
“I’m looking for my friends, too,” I continued, realizing he was too spaced out to understand my mocking. “I think I just spotted them, but if you head uphill I’m sure your friends will find you. It’s a high traffic area. I’m going to go now.”
“Okay,” he said, “Let’s hug it out.”
Since I had already hugged some strangers that weekend, and he really looked like he needed it, I complied. “Ohhhhh,” he sighed, “You’re the best hugger ever.”
“Oooookay,” I pulled back quickly. “High-five again?” Ryan asked. I high fived him. “Give me your hand,” he said, and took it. He kissed my hand, said, “Thank you,” and tenderly, so tenderly, kissed my hand a second time.
I pulled my hand from his grasp, shouted good luck, and ran.
I charged into the circle where my friends stood at top speed, simultaneously whimpering and laughing.
There were no more stranger hugs that weekend.