© Kenny Klein

dear diary:

It's Wednesday afternoon, three o'clock, and I am here in the cafe, same seat, same life. Ah me... Glance at the mirror. Same cat's eye glasses. Same bob haircut. Maybe I could do something with my hair other than put these little plastic barrettes in it. dye it fuscia? pink? too rockabilly mama?

today i wore the a-line skirt and poodle sweater. i think i'm fetching. no one else seems to share my opinion. sigh. its been six months since loser boy left me, and i guess i'm just missing that being kissed in the morning with bad breath thing. those little cuddles at night. having someone to watch jenny jones with. ah well, its not like loser boy was any good at those things. my mother always said there's other fish in the sea, but i seem to live in a little puddle. a couple of other girl fish and then the occasional loser barracuda that swims by and flounders or gets carried away in a rain storm, looking for some other just a little too chubby just a little too nerdy fish. how will this romance novel end? probably with the heroinne searching for another reason to wake up one more morning.

look at that couple there. yuppies, happy with the world. he must love her dearly. he just bought her a croissant. ah, if only some man did that for me.... halley, dear, you are pathetic. i should be dreaming of diamond rings, and all i want out of life is a man with wide pants and tattoos who will buy me a croissant.

i think i'll go home and dye my hair. better call in to work first. fish face may complain that i'm hard to reach. it's not like i have a cell phone and a pager.....

* * *

The nymphs sat at Inness, naked and glistening white in the sun that shines from Olympus' heavens. Their skin was silk soft, kitten playful. Their touch might bring unimaginable joy, sensations of pleasure only hinted at in dreams one half remembers in fleeting dawn. Eyes bright with wonder, laughter like rustling leaves, five nymphs rested from the sport of a long, voluptuous afternoon.

When Persephone arrived, damp with dew from far journeys, the five were eager to hear news, tales, gossip. Persephone wore a long tunic, white, set with pearls at the neck and shoulders, and tucked into her purple belt so that her deft, freckled legs peeked out and hinted at subtle pleasures beneath the garment's folds. Her face was bright with smiling, her eyes a galaxy of stars. She took long hours to disrobe, to lower herself into the flowing stream, to stretch her long toes and sigh as the waters ran cold and frothing over her pale skin. Its babblings prickled at the goose flesh that rose from her belly and breasts.

The long day was growing azure evening as she took her seat beside the five. They begged, plead for a story, a song, a tale of enchantment. And Persephone glanced coyly about the knot of plump, languid nymphs, thinking delicious thoughts.

"let us speak of mortals," Persephone said at length.

"Oh, mortals," said one nymph, a cherry-haired vixen with deep green eyes like emeralds. "Shall we weave mortal mens' lives into shapes and shadow?"

"Not mortal men," said Persephone, half sighing. "Mortal women."

There was giggling. "Poor creatures," said the thin, supple sloe eyed nymph. Her black hair was short, curly, the hair of a boy, but her hips spoke the pleasures of long, deep gyration against the pressure of thrust. "Mortal women are so helpless, so sweet. Can we play with one?"

"What if," said Persephone, and she turned upon her back, her legs arched and crossed, her toes pointed and tracing little circles around the outline of the moon's orb in distant sky, "what if a mortal woman looked at the moon, and saw her true love reflected there? What would she do? seek him? wait for him to come to her? Or..."

"Or?" the green haired nymph asked. The youngest of the five, she could always get away with saying the obvious, repeating the intriguing, without more consequence than a smile or a light, gentle kiss from her elders. And she welcomed those consequences.

"Or, would she create that moon face in any man she saw, her eyes so filled with the flavor of him that his physical face mattered not to her?"

The five thought for a moment, dwelling on their mistress' idyll. What do mortals really think, really do? Do they have thoughts, premises? Do they feel love, hate, loneliness, like the Immortals do? The silver haired nymph laughed.

"This is silly talk, my Mistress," she said. The oldest nymph, she spoke with an authority almost equal to that of the Gods. She could dimly remember the making of mountains, and the play of Titans. Her heather purple eyes sparkled as she spoke, but beneath them welled dark boding, silence that hung like clouds some days.

"Is it?" Persephone grinned. "Is it?"

* * *

dear diary:

i had the strangest experience today. i left the cafe at five, ready to tackle that layout that needs to be utterly brilliant, as if i had any idea what big butt wants me to do with it! well, she seems to feel no one can lay ‘em out like i do. so, like they say, it aint what you do its the way that you do it... so i left the cafe, a little jittery from mocha consumption, and the moon had risen, full and round like a face. a man's face. see that's what i saw. not like the man in the moon. i glanced at the moon and saw this guy. he had a little goatee beard (oh i love those) and i guess no hair on top, since it was the moon and the moon is sort of bald. and green eyes (i'm pretty sure there's no green eyes in the moon) and the saddest face you ever saw.

it was just for a second, dear diary. but i still see it in my mind's eye. i suppose my mind doesn't have an eye, but it had better have something to get that layout done!

i will give that man a name. hmmm.... kelly. yea, kelly. i like that name. rugged, but also androgynous. girls can be kelly too, though they'd probably spell it kelli. or kellie. or caghlie if they were little ren faire dweebs. haighlee. hmmm. maybe i should start doing that. just kidding, dear diary.

* * * *

"Mortals are not dreamers," the silver haired nymph said matter-of-factly. "They simply don't have the capacity for it. They work, they live, they love a tiny bit, though their love is fleeting. When they think they are sad, they cry, though sometimes they cry for no reason at all. What can we really know of mortals, when they hardly know themselves? Now cats. Cats are subtle."

As Silver Hair spoke, little Green Hair stroked her thigh and kissed her long, sensate calves. Silver paused for a moment, feeling the deep passion in the tiny touch of green hair's tongue. Fauns might be virile, she pondered, but who could kiss toe and thigh like a nymph? And such a coy, subtle nymph as Green Hair? Silver hair let her concentration dissipate, gave herself to the feel of tiny tongue on soft skin. the sky turned red for a fleeting second, her moan sent a shiver across the curve of the hills.

"Mortals love as we love," Persephone said at last. "Perhaps not as enduringly, but there are even exceptions to that. Sappho."

"Sappho was a fluke," Blond Hair said, laughing. "I loved her once. She thought I was mortal."

"And...?" the littlest asked.

"And I thought she was divine!" the blond smiled. "I took the form of a girl of twelve. I acted shy, scared. I stayed on after Sappho's tutorship was finished for the day. She called me a lost girl. She said I was beautiful. She stroked my arms, held my eye. When we kissed, I could not remember any greater pleasure."

The other four sighed with the rippling passion of this memory. Sappho, whose poetry was even spoken on Olympus. Could Mortals really feel the excruciating sweetness Sappho wrote of?

"Perhaps I am wrong," Silver Hair said. "Perhaps there is the rare mortal who feels real love, real pleasure."

"And with it, true pain," Persephone idylled. "Aching with every cell when she is unloved, uncared for. When there is no relief for the longing in her mortal heart."

"Listen to us, talking of mortals like this," said Silver Hair. "Still, my Mistress, your notions intrigue me." She pushed the little one away for a moment, collecting her brooding thoughts.

* * *

dear diary:

strange, i dreamed about kelly last night. am i weird? psycho? pathetic? i'm even talking about this guy like he exists. if he does exist, he's probably in love with some skinny girl.

what are the things my kelly would do, or think? i think he swing dances. he likes to get very well dressed to go out. zoot suits, fedora hats, big chains and wing tips are among his many fashion statements. he likes cherry poppin daddies and the stray cats, but he knows the old tunes. and i'm not just talking glenn miller. he knows billie holiday and cab calloway. he even knows bix biderbeck and red nichols.

he has a down to earth side. he's a quiet guy, he thinks deep thoughts. maybe he's a writer, or a recording engineer. oooh, dear diary, or a private investigator. no, maybe not. that's kind of dangerous. how about a museum curator. he investigates fossils and relics, searches for their meaning and their history all day, then he's a wild man by night. a zoot suit daddy. no one at the museum knows his secret life. they think of him as that handsome, quiet guy.

who would i tell these thoughts to, dear diary, but you? i'm afraid to tell them to myself! poor, pathetic halley. fart boy left her, and now she's seeing men in the moon. what would fish face say? skinny girls are so annoying.... and where did she learn to dress? well, she is a great design artist. what she lacks in personal style, she makes up for in ability. what would kelly think of her? would he and i sit around and talk about the people i work with at the magazine, or the people he works with at the museum? would we drink too much coffee, read d. h. lawrence to each other, play chess and backgammon? sigh..... i like this red in my hair. very bright. maybe i need a new dress to go with it. i'll stop at arizona trading company on the way home. shopping is the remedy for so many ills. almost as panacaeic as chocolate.

* * * *

"Perhaps I am wrong," said Silver Hair. Moonlight shown upon her eyes now, echoing the silky glow of the soft hair woven on head and pubis. Her legs dangled from her rocky perch, tracing lines in the sand. "Perhaps humans dream too much. They are creatures of dreams. They never know their true selves, because their dreams cloud their eyes."

"You are so serious, my darling," said the little one. "Mayn't we hear more of Sappho's love?" She reached out her hand, tentatively, and touched Silver Hair's soft, moon drenched thigh. There was no resistance. Silver Hair leaned back, arching her back in the shape of foothills, letting one leg drop back from its rock perch and trail the sandy floor. The other made a gate over which the moon shone. Her tongue flicked at her lips, leaving the trace of dew and salty ocean, like tears.

* * * *

Music blared over the huge P.A. system, a tune by Cherry Poppin Daddies, about a philandering train passenger. The place was jumping. Couples shook it on the way-too-tiny dance floor, wailin' and jivin'. Sean asked a red head to dance, a pretty girl with a fine, ample figure and the face of a Goddess.

"I've never danced here before," Sean said to the red head. "I'm from Atlanta. Pretty good swing scene there."

"Uh huh," the red head nodded. She was gorgeous, Sean thought. Hair in a little Bettie Page bob. Thick legs and bust, shown off in an A-line skirt and a little black cashmere sweater. And could she dance! She'd danced with some swing boy like the devil! He'd flipped her, and she wore only little cotton panties under that black skirt. Shameless, loving the adoration, she'd lifted herself to be flipped again.

Now she stood distracted, half heatedly talking. They'd danced that one dance. Sean had done some good moves. But she didn't seem interested in dancing with him again. Or anything else.

"Maybe we'll dance again later?" Sean suggested.

"My regular dance partner is probably waiting for me," she smiled. And away she walked, a little wiggle in her hips. Want fries with that shake? Sean thought.

Ah, Jump, Jive and Wail was starting. Damn not knowing anyone here. I wanna dance to this.

He noticed her out of the corner of his eye. Then he did a double take. Big busted and big legged, just the way he liked ‘em. Too many skinny girls in Atlanta for Sean's taste. She dressed well. Black dress, black and white saddle shoes, and a little white scarf at her neck. And those cat's eye glasses. He loved that dorky girl look. Raver hair bob, with a little Hello-Kitty barrette. That drove Sean nuts, too.

He took her in in an instant. She was adorable. I wonder if she feels as beautiful as I find her? he thought.

He approached her. She seemed to have a funny expression when she saw him. Could she have gasped a little? He asked her to dance. They started simple, a little jitterbug step. He spun her a couple of times. Nice form.

"You been dancing long?" he asked her.

"Taking the lessons here, for about three weeks," she replied, a little shyly.

"Really? You're good for three weeks! You take your turns well. Wanna try something a little harder?"

"Okay," she said.

"Ever do a half pretzel?"

She was graceful. I come to Lawrence, Kansas, Sean thought, and meet the woman of my dreams. Great. What do I do now? Move here from Atlanta and hope to find a job? The song ended, and he asked if she wanted a drink.

"Okay." she still seemed shy, hesitant. They walked to the bar, squeezing through the throng of hipsters that frequented this place, the Bottleneck Bar. Swing night on Sundays brought a big crowd here.

"I haven't seen you here before," she said.

"I'm visiting from Atlanta," he told her. "Just here for a week."

"Oh?" she said. "What do you do in Atlanta?"

"I'm a curator at the High Museum of Art. Ever been there?"

She was silent for a moment. "No," she said.

"Well you should come down. It's warm there now. Not like here in Kansas." He smiled. "What's your name?"


"Sean," he told her. "Hey, here's my card. Look me up if you come south."

She pocketed the card without looking. Sean thought she seemed disappointed.

"Dance again?" he asked her.

"Sure." She said it with resignation.

They danced for quite a while, a good hour. She learned quickly, and he taught well. Basket, half pretzel, Charleston, sweetheart turns.

She let him kiss her good night at the end of the evening. He returned to his room at the Arrowhead Motel, feeling sad that the girl of his dreams was gone. More loneliness, more thinking that if only he could meet a girl like that who seemed to care for him, who responded. Ah well, Sean thought. It will happen.

* * * *

dear diary:

i thought this was it. but alas. went to the bottleneck. swing night. lots of the tragically hip. then he walked over. great looking, zoot suit, long chain. goatee beard, shaved head. yea, i decided, kelly is real. and he's a museum curator. in atlanta. and boy can he kiss.

but no. this guy's name is sean. close, but no cigar. i never get the cigar. he was leaving for atlanta this morning.

i cried all night. its dawn. i think i'll eat some chocolate. i'm an idiot. kelly. yea, right. i hear its comfy in those rubber rooms. why didn't i sleep with this guy? because of his name? halley, you moron.

* * * *

Persephone trailed her hand in the stream's gushing waters. Circlets of light appeared where her hand moved, and fish like stars swam to meet the current. Dawn was just filling the eastern sky with pink tones. A deep bright blue, like eyes, filled the western sky.

Nestled in the crook of Persephone's leg was the blond haired nymph. Her breast lay softly against the Goddess' thigh. Her sleepy chin formed a tiny valley in the crevice where Persephone's leg met supple torso. A line of pink glowing light traced the form of breast, chin, hair, leg and round cheek. The line of light made the shape, perhaps, of cats eye glasses.

Persephone languished in the feel of the nymph's skin, her wisps of blond hair, her warmth. There is no joy, Persephone mused, that can compare to the fulfillment of touch met with loving touch. All of life is completed by this. All of nature replicates this, from the amoeba who births itself and creates its own twin, to the cat that sleeps curled against her sisters in the litter. Even humans, considered Persephone----especially humans, perhaps, of all creation----are completed, fulfilled, by loving touch. Their dreams are clouded, yes, by the fear that they will not be loved, by the desire to prove their love, by the temptation to search for a more complete love. Yet their seeking and yearning is ever in vain until they realize the mystery. That they never allow themselves to see what is right before them. That the Goddess' touch they seek has been with them from the beginning. It is what they will attain at the end of their desire.

Persephone dreamt.

* * * *

dear diary:

my company is moving me to georgia, the creeps. starting up an atlanta edition of the magazine. they need me there, they say. idiots. they're giving my job to fish face, and putting me in some stupid layout studio where i can quietly work away my boring little days. oh, well, they are paying me more. a lot more. and atlanta is warm, i hear.

yea, i heard that from that guy. the curator. the dish. did i take his card? i think i put it in my little purse. its been a month. i haven't worn that purse since. wait a moment, dear diary, while i get it. knowing someone in atlanta might be nice. at least that guy is one great dancer. and cute. and a great kisser. and everything i could want if i wasn't weird and psycho and convinced that some guy named kelly will come into my life. as if. what kinda jerk am i, anyway?

i'll get that purse.

o my god, do you believe in miracles, dear diary? i put his card away without looking. god, i was so disappointed that his name was sean. he was perfect in every other way. but sean, from atlanta. got the purse out. read the card.

Sean Patrick Kelly.

Assistant Curator, High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia.

i leave for atlanta next week. atlanta and love. i am a happy girl. what does one wear to an art museum?



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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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