Carnival

05/30

Carnival

 

The sun pulled my eyelids open

Turning west for the first time on a long drive

My head wobbled awake with the beams of light

Shaking sleep from the ducts in my eyes.

I witness a haphazard carnival

Parking lot half abandoned

Trucks with rides still holding some of them

Half transformer.

Laugh at the six people on the ride

Creaking under the strain of mid-Spring rust.

I recall the last time I tasted an elephant ear.

 

The doughy crispy flakes shuttled down my sweatshirt

Honest laughing without a care

Months before my first drag

A year before my first drunken face plant

Processed meat and cheese layering into belly

Only to be turned the wrong way over on the rides.

Blazed in red and green and yellow and purple lights

Sirens of top 40 hits and carny laughter

At the putrid green faces we all made.

Together a cadre of newly minted teenagers.

Lost in the parking lot of wonders.

Honest in our screams in the haunted house.

Bored at the yo-yo ride,

Scheming in how we could best the carnival games.

Subsequent loss of money those games.

Try to make the most from ten bucks

Worth of vacuuming and mopping and dish washing.

 

We were an amoeba of untethered hormones

Lusting after the full figured senior girls

Though quick to avert eyes on the chance they ever looked our way.

We knew we weren’t cool, it was fine.

Still able to make the night ours.

Pool tickets to win soon-to-be-broken trinkets

We shook the ground with our laughter

Bruising our abdomens overfilled with food we would later regret.

Slink off to talk to girls our age

Only to be made fun of upon our prompt returns

Sheepish grins and overly detailed recollections

Of just how hot so-and-so had gotten over the summer.

 

I recall those days now

Like an old man chewing his teeth pocketed pipe.

Puff fumes on the idea of fun and honest play.

Shadows of memories,

Friends lost to other high schools, college, kids, jail, marriage, the west coast, the east coast, drugs, alcohol, life, death.

I close my eyes

Reach into those memories to hear our laughter one more time.

 

MK 04.08.13

 

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