My Opposite Hangs Out At The Oregon Country Fair

I am not sure how often, or if ever, people get to meet their “opposite” in life. I have encountered my “opposite’ many times. This occurred ever year for about four years at the Oregon Country Fair (OCF) in Veneta, Oregon. I started to attend OCF in 1993. For the next twenty years it was part of my yearly schedule. In the later years I was a youth empowerment speaker at The Youth Stage. “The Fair” has been a very large and special part of my life. I have already done one podcast about my time at OCF (Episode OHS020) and I plan to do many more blogs and podcasts in the future. Many great and profound moments I have experienced during that three day festival. A long list of great bands and concerts watched, handmade items purchased, and life long friends made each year. But to see my “opposite” four years in a row is an experience I will never forget. Blog #17 of my “40 Blogs in 40 Days of my first 40 Podcasts” shares my experience seeing my opposite and leads into my podcast episode OHS037.

Oregon Country Fair, Festival, Oregon, Peach Pit, Cover Art

The Oregon Country Fair has a Festival publication called Peach Pit. Each year they have a new and unique design which also sell as posters and sometimes t-shirts.

Let me first explain what I mean by my “opposite.” As much as I would like to say the person was a single and attractive three-handed girl, they were not. This person was not my physical opposite. They were more my energetic opposite. Well, actually they were my energetic one-handed opposite. I am not trying to get all mystical on you but it is true. It is the only way I can explain this person and their personality. It was their “energy” that was completely opposite to who I am as a person and my one-handed perspective on life.

I never met this person or introduced myself to him. It was too bizarre of an idea to go out of my way to meet in person and we never met by happenstance. We just both happened to be at the Oregon Country Fair at the same time. I am a huge science fiction comic book super-geek at heart. Therefore, the idea of meeting my opposite brought catastrophic sci-fi theories and storylines to my mind. The original series of Star Trek aired an episode called “Mirror Mirror” where Captain Kirk, Spock and the bridge crew were transported by mistake to an opposite alternative dimension. At the same time their evil counterparts replaced them on the Starship Enterprise. There are the stories of rupturing the fabric of time and space when opposites, like matter and anti-matter, encounter one another; and the theories of an inter-dimensional time implosion collapsing the entire universe onto itself into nothingness. But to be honest, the guy scared me and made me uncomfortable.

Star Trek, Mirror Mirror, Oregon Country Fair, OCF, Sci-Fi, disability, blog, storytelling

The original series of Star Trek aired a famous episode entitled, “Mirror Mirror “where the bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise trade universes with their opposites in a transporter malfunction.

My opposite had a very unattractive look to him. His hair was long, unkempt and greasy. Verging on the unhealthy and emaciated, his body was thin and pale. His face was roughly pitted and covered with acne. Walking with an aggressive and impatient overtone his face reflected an angry and spiteful personality. He did not have two hands and was even missing the opposite hand as I. He wore a prosthetic hook as a replacement. However, his artificial arm was made of rusted metal and wrapped in barbwire. The hook (terminal device) at the end was an old jagged and rusted hay-hook. It looked terrifying! He was certainly making a statement. The phrases on his t-shirts would even make a criminal cringe they were so rude, vial, and inappropriate. Wherever he walked people got out of his way.

I on the other hand (there is a joke there somewhere) am making a different statement in life. Right now I actually enjoy not having two hands. I have even worn shirts at OCF with phrases like, “I was born like this,” or “I might not have two hands but I am fully armed,” and “I enjoy not having two hands.” Plus I just love being alive and love life. I enjoy all the interactions I have about my one-handed life at the Oregon Country Fair. I have noticed “the feel” of those interactions to have a much more honest and open quality to them. I always looked forward to this aspect of the Oregon Country Fair. I am there spreading one-handed happiness and joy with rainbows and butterflies skipping around in a state of glee. While at the same time this guy is spreading discomfort, anguish and despair stomping in a black cloud of angry smoke. He was my one-handed opposite.

Oregon Country Fair, Youth Stage, Disability, Blog, Storytelling, youth empowerment

Even the grounds crew dress the part for the “The Fair.” AlejAndro is shown with a young fan after his youth empowerment performance as “Droui’ko, The One Handed Superhero” at the Oregon Country Fair’s Youth Stage in 2015.

There we were at the metaphorical center of the universe… At the Oregon Country Fair allowing people to see the essence of who we are as people. They could see both of us living out our one-handed lives. He is oozing pain and sadness and I am shinning happiness and joy. That is why meeting one another was not a good idea. The force created by canceling each other’s energy could displace the space-time continuum infinitely splintering reality as we know it. I guess it was a good thing we never met one another. However, I did have the unique privilege of interacting with people who met him or who were impacted by my opposite.

It was the one and only year I wore my prosthetic hook to “The Fair.” I stopped wearing my artificial arm a long time ago. I move so much more free and naturally without it. Plus, I feel more organically me. My “hook” is not part of my body. Though it can serve me well, and has done so in the past, it is something I just do not wear anymore. But I had always wanted to wear it to the Oregon Country Fair. So one year I did. It just so happens that was the year I saw my opposite the most and the only year people spoke to me about him. I had two very cool, unique, and precious interactions in response to my one-handed opposite.

To hear these two stories and my experiences seeing my opposite I invite you to click and listen to my One Hand Speaks Storytelling Podcast Episode OHS037. Please feel free to share this blog or my podcast and I ask you to offer a comment with your opinion and feedback! Thanks! 

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