On this early hour I shall summarize my weekend experience, which focused around Voodoofest and Claire:


      Jason gets into town around nine; his friend, he and I drive around looking for things to do, buy some alcohol for saturday and spend an hour hanging out at an IHOP before heading home for sleep - surely we would need it.


      Wake up at seven, run over to Jason's and wait - Claire still isn't ready. We leave Mobile, Alabama (followed by Jason's younger brother) around ten, Claire and I sleep on the backseat for the majority of the ride.
      We clear the security lines in time to see the end of The Getaway People's performance - they were alright, even though I didn't personally like their style. Our group managed to run into an aquaintance who graduated valedictorian two years ago and smoked with him. Claire and I went off to get water and she complained about having to walk and stand so much. Agreeing, I sat down aside her and looked at her lying in the grass, under the blue sky, radiating with gladness. Jason and the rest of the group join us, after a while we get up to see Blues Traveler. Their stage was across the park, plus it was crowded, so shortly after getting there and burning in the heat without seeing the band save for the videoscreen, Claire and I headed back (we had both seen them live before.) Black eyed peas were playing, we sat in the middle of the field, smoked cigarettes and talked about traveling. She hadn't traveled much at all, but seems like the person who would benefit greatly from it - she's very open and willing to absorb different viewpoints. I mentioned the possibility of getting an apartment in Paris next summer if things in the middle east don't sort out politically.
      Eminem was up next, and we split up so I could get to the front (she wanted to see Ben Harper and he was the main reason I had gone to the festival.) The sun was burning at its crest, and everyone had been waiting for over half an hour. I had managed to stand aside the biggest group of rednecks ever, partaking in redneck activities (talking about things that usually arent talked about in public, belching, etc.) Two local girls started talking to us (Jason and I,) Jason didn't really respond. I wish he was better with the ladies, he's such a nice guy. The more talkactive one was still in high school (senior) and had SATs the following morning, we talked a bit about that - then we worked our way to the stage, through the masses. Eminem came on stage, followed by D-12 and the whole place was bouncing. I must say that was one of the most fulfilled hours of my life - I knew all the songs and (along with everyone else) sung along, dancing with that girl, her pulling me closer and putting my hands on her hips. Eminem was a few feet away, it was incredible. The only negative aspect were all the flying waterbottles, one of the people in the vicinity obtained a gash from a flying bottle. Also, towards the end, people were storming to the front, and it took a bit of an effort to keep the girls from being squished by people. We said our goodbyes, hoping to meet again in Atlanta - she was going to Georgia.
After Eminem I headed over to Cypress hill who played on the stage across the field. Making many new friends, I fought my way to the front where Claire and Brian (Jason's younger brother) were. Glad to meet again, she pulled me closer and we grooved to the music. Jason was nowhere in sight, so we were unable to smoke during Dr. Greenthumb. Oh well. Claire had found a bunch of her friends, so after Cypress Hill's awesome show we sat down and listened to 311 from the neighbor stage. This continued throughout Cowboy Mouth's show, Pat and Claire lied down to sleep for a short bit. The sun had set by now, there was a light show in the trees. Colored wheels were rotating and shifting between the trees and on the leaves... someone said that voodoofest is jazzfest on mushrooms. True.
      When Rahzel's DJ (I forgot the name, but he DJs for The Roots) took stage, we walked up and listened to his skills, as well as Rahzel when he got on stage. I had never heard of him before, no one in the group had, but he blew it up like no one else. If you ever have the chance to see this man perform, go for it - he's incredible.
      Soon, Stone Temple Pilots took the other stage and we managed to advance to the videoscreen - Pat, who was to provide Claire with a place to stay didn't want to go further. This, combined with his general attitute towards her annoyed her greatly. We exchanged cellphone numbers and went a bit forward, to the point at which we could see the lead singer (it was his 35th birthday the day before, so everyone sang happy birthday at some point during the show.) This was probably the most honest if not the best show of the day, as they really gave their all, playing an hour beyond schedule and demanding that people be let into the journalist section...
      Finally, even STP were done and we started walking back to the car. The bridge connecting the festival grounds was crammed full of people, so Claire seized my hand for practical purposes. I stroked my thumb across hers and she responded... Once the bridge was crossed she didn't let go, we walked hand in hand to the car and talk about general topics. She's a really, really great person - she cares a great deal about everyone around her, as I was bound to find out later. At the car, we found a fairly strung-out Brian waiting for his friends to show up. I convinced Jason that I would drive, as he was too tired to navigate New Orleans traffic. We headed back onto I-10 while Claire was on the phone, trying to deal with Cyrus and Pat, her friends who we were supposed to chill with. I took the phone and told them that we could call when things were sorted out and we had taken showers. Everything was booked. A full hour later we find a vacancy half an hour away from New Orleans - Bourbon Street is out of the question, at least for the night. Claire, Jason's friend and I take showers and head out to Waffle house for a three am breakfast... We return around four, watch the beginning of some HBO movie, crack a few beers and then settle down. In the twilight, I see Claire's eyes still open and we start talking... nothing fit to post, personal stuff... but I learn that we are a lot alike, even though our backgrounds are almost complete opposites. I didn't kiss her or anything, that would still be awkward at this stage, but I got to know her a lot better as a person... looking forward to hanging out with her in the future. At six AM we say our goonights and drift to sleep.


      Noon comes early - the sun blares through the window, waking us rudely. Time to check out, the phone announces. We brush our teeth, Claire gets a backrub but doesn't say anything - she's beautifully intriguing, I told her the night before. I understand now, and it is fine... We eat breakfast at Shoney's, get loaded and pick up cigarettes and iced tea at a gas station ... I don't even remember getting cigarettes. It was beautiful though, we were all sitting in the car, windows down, noon sun, dark side of the moon, her asleep against me. Possibly the happiest time of my life.