The Fair

So on Saturday, I had the fun of going to the PNE with Arwen and her family, and we had a lot of fun and greasy food. Oh, God, did we have the greasy food.

But Arwen also planted a seed in my head as we were sitting under a bluer-than-gray sky, waiting for John The Indefatigable (that’s your Medieval name, John) to come back with sustenance.

We are the Marks. The carnies funnel us into corridors where we spend money on hamburgers and throw-the-ball-in-the basket, spinning around on giant machines that make us feel ill. And it’s that thin, oily veneer of fun that keeps us sweet while we empty our wallets.

But beneath that thin sheen are the internals, the guts. And the guts of the carnival intrigue me: The motors inside the rides. The people who work the fairs. I think there must be a romance to a carnie’s life, however grubby.

There’s the traveling and the impermanence. Whatever happens in one town is gone when you get to the next. You can be anything you want to the people you meet. Different name, different personality. Wild lies and prevarications. Anonymous sex whenever you want it. Friends over beers that you feel close to now, and that’s enough for you, right now. And then, when you move on to the next town? You can be someone else again.

Sounds like a lot of fun, at least for a season.

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