People unknowingly array themselves in walking, sinuous broken chains, forming and reforming, making my path twist away from my intended destination. Women wearing dresses, everywhere, squeezed into laced corsets, leaving them top heavy and sporting various amounts of cleavage mix with men tipping feather hats to each other in passing. Their boots are caked with mud, and their hands cup either tankards or the breasts of female hangers-on.
A visible smell of smoke wafts amongst the throng. Pink parasol, yellow scarves, green shawl, much white and black and brown. Leather and pipesmoke and cooking meat. A shoulder jostle, I check my pockets to the ringing of tambourines and distant chimes. Dogs bark. Pipes and whistles keep time with conflicting drum rhythm. Mead, beer, and cider flow out of kegs and their stink from the mouths of stumbling drinkers.
The loosely wooded area is my comfort. It allows for greater motion, undetected, looking for that one face to follow, the one who I am not even sure is here.