Carnival Games

The carnival was the kind of place fun went at the end of its days, to retire, it said, but everyone knew it was going there to die. Trash cans lay on their sides with weakly flapping bags, and people did little more than toss their junk in sideways to accommodate. Everything was screaming at once, in pop hits that had fizzled before they hit the sky, in classics played on dusty guitars, in spanish beats that went doom-da-doom-da over and over again. Lights razed over the dead grass, looking for a startled teenager or frazzled parent to catch in its glare and draw in.

All the rides were rattling in harmony, sounding like a large, broken god was trying to rise from the earth. These were dying too, over and over, but they had people to fix them up and let them die again. The feeling of grime covered the skin, the feeling of grease on the face simply from looking at all the gritty metal. Rust, rust, rust. Food for garbage was sold like food for royalty, six dollars for grease, anyone? Oil and chemicals were sprinkled with sugar in any way possible: in angel powder; in rainbow shavings; in invisible shards. It smelled like cheap, like the undeniable stench of discomfort, of humans. Children were having the time of their lives, running around with bloody red tickets in their fists or wristbands pinching their arms, and the teenagers wandered aimlessly, finally realizing the boredom that came with maturity. The parents were on both sides of this gap. Games offered prizes the size of your fist for their original promise of grandeur. The rides kept diving towards the ground in hacking coughs, trying to die and not quite making it. The moving trucks for the carnival promised memories for a lifetime, since 1927. Good memories were implied, but not explicitly mentioned. This was the kind of place where fun went at the end of its days to retire.
This was the kind of place fun went to die, to lay sideways on the grass and have more junk thrown into it sideways to accommodate.


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