Friday, May 19, 2006

Circles Of Life - 2 (A Secret)

A long time ago, when I was a kid, I was friends with an old Romanian woman that traveled with the show, as a psychic. She was nice to me and told me some things. She was from a real Gypsy family and community in Romania, she came to this country some years before.

She read cards and tealeaves and even had a crystal ball. People just ate that shit up; they were so desperate for any insight into their confused lives. She made a lot of money. She passed away years ago and most on the show have long since forgotten her, I haven’t.

How I met her was through my boss at the time, he was friends with her husband, our trailers were usually parked close to theirs.

Her and I would sit and talk the night away sometimes, usually after a setup, and while all the other crew were at the bar, I was still too young to get in so I was stuck at the lot, I was a kid.

She was the one that taught me about the “Circles of Life”. No ones life goes in a straight line, the past always intersects with the future. If we leave a loose end, we will return to tie it up; fate will make damn sure of it.

Our lives will be a series of circles, some small, some large, spanning many years in some cases, making great loops, and sometimes-small ones, spanning days, weeks, or months.

Pay attention to those things you leave unfinished my son, you will return one day to complete them, perhaps when you’re young, perhaps when you’re old, fate is not bound by time like we are.” She said, smiling at me over her cup of tea.

Those were her words to me on that warm summer night so many years ago.

I’ve completed a few circles in my day, and have more to go. This is one of the secrets to telling the future, look at your circles, they cosmically bind you, and you can plot your life by them. Your circles are like a vague map, spooky, but true.

Her mother taught her this, her mothers mother taught her….and so on, for generations, and she taught me.

She taught me some other things too, but those are other stories, maybe I’ll tell them someday, maybe I won’t.

I’m tired, good night.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Circles Of Life

I'll miss the town I've been spending the last three off seasons in. It's quiet and out of the way, far from the busy Midway, and a number of miles off the main highway.

As I was leaving on the bus, it struck me that I would never be back. There's no reason for me to ever go back, I ended up there quite by chance and I know I'll never pass through that way again.

I watched the tree's go by out the bus window, thinking back over the last three winters. I met some good people there, but I'll never see them again, such is my life, always moving on.

I had all my bags by the door that evening, it was beautiful outside. It just rained, the sun had come out, and everything was a dark green. I called a cab and went upstairs to say goodbye to my roommates 4 year old daughter.

Her and I have spent a lot of time together these last three winters, I watched her grow from a baby into a bright, creative little girl. I got to her doorway and just watched, she was playing with her Barbie’s, engrossed in her own little world. I just watched for a while until she noticed me.

I hugged her and said goodbye, she tells everyone that I live at the Circus, and that some day she’ll come to the Circus and live there too. It was hard to see her waving goodbye as we pulled out if the driveway, I had to look away, I do that a lot.

I love kids, not having any is my only real regret in life I think.

When I left my hometown years ago, I left loose ends untied. When I finally go home this fall, that circle will be complete. I left no loose ends here, there is no circle to complete, that’s how I know I won’t be back.

The Carny House

The Carny house is a beehive of activity. It’s hard to get any time alone, even though I have my own room. We’re just getting some equipment ready for an upcoming show, there’s nothing really interesting to tell. There are only five of us at the house right now.

We talk and laugh late into the night, remembering people and experiences from seasons past. We meet here every spring, usually the same people; we go our separate ways in winter.

Martins back, we call him “Smarty” because he’s ….well…not all that smart. He has a good heart and he’s a hell of a worker and a friend.

He’s been trying to quit the Carny life for the past few years, dreaming of living a normal persons life. His wife has finally had with him though and told him she’s done with him, this time for good. Smarty’s only real sin in life is that he doesn’t fit.

He’s pretty lost right now, I see it in his eyes, the blue of the TV screen on his face in the dark, staring past the screen, at nothing. He won’t talk about it, but he’s deeply wounded. He only fits here. Smarty will never be the man his wife want’s him to be.

Larry is here, he’s bigger than ever, and he looks older than ever. His drinking has really escalated over the years and there are whispers that he’ll be found dead in his bunk sooner or later. Larry has never fit anywhere else either, he’s spent his entire adult life out here, we’ve known each other for 20 years.

Larry was supposed to be looking after his health this winter, I lectured him several times last year. Larry just works and works, he doesn’t take care of himself. I remember years ago he had a wife, I was standing close by the pay phone when she told him not to ever come home again, he never did, he’s been here ever since.

Teddy Bear’s here too, we’ve known each other since we were kids. Teddy Bear has a “father son dynamic” going with our alcoholic fucked up boss, which means he’s an emotional whipping post.

The boss is constantly yelling at him, then getting drunk and singing his praises. Teddy Bear and I’ve talked about it a number of times, I’ve advised him to tell the boss to go fuck himself and quit. This would establish a line, the Teddy Bear is a third generation Carny, he can get a job anywhere, on any show, anytime.

He knows all that, at some level he needs to be abused though, these types always do, men and women alike.

Trina is back, this is only her second season. Trina is a young pretty thing, somewhat sheltered, but learning fast. She’s trying desperately to find her place here, she doesn’t belong, I’ve told her that. We’ve had a lot of late night talks in the time I’ve known her. Trina is too sweet to ever make it here, she has too much virtue in her. I doubt she will last this next season, and that’s a good thing.
Me, I’m just me. People say I’ve been around forever, and it sure fucking feels like it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

What Matters To Me

Character matters the most to me. It’s one of those things no one can take from you. I’ve met a lot of people that had nothing in this world, but they had character, experiences, they were interesting.

I’ve also met people that had a lot going for them in the material sense, and they were the dullest fucks, no story.

Life is about experiences to me. I can save them up and pull them out anytime I want, no one can ever take them, I can share them though.

I’ve never been interested in chasing money, not more than I need anyway, what a boring life that would be. I’ve lived out of a duffel bag for a long time, I can pick up and go wherever I want, no material ties, that’s freedom to me.

People with kids can’t do that, and I wouldn’t either if I had kids, but I don’t, so I can do what I want. I don’t let people give me negative opinions on my lifestyle, I tell them to shove it up their ass generally. As long as I don’t hurt anybody else I can do what I want, and I do.

Right now, as I sit on this bus, rolling along, I have nothing but what’s in front of me, down this highway.

I have a couple grand in my pocket, a guitar and two duffel bags packed away under the bus.

Life’s pretty good, no worries for today.

I hope I get laid soon.

The Greyhound

I’m on the Greyhound right now, how many times have I made this trip this time of year? Everything is dark except for a light on above the seat near the front, a woman’s reading.

I’ve just been sitting here staring out the window at the blackness, thinking. I’ve been thinking about past seasons, when I was excited to be on the Greyhound, now I could give a fuck.

I’m just like a plumber or a construction worker, just a guy going to work. I’m sure they don’t get all giddy and excited when they're heading to their job.

It’s funny when you’re sitting on a Greyhound, you have so much time to think, replay previous conversations, ponder your life, ask yourself questions. I’ve been on this damn bus so many times.

I hate flying, it scares me, when I get scared I get mad, when I get mad I’m like a bull in a china shop and I don’t give a fuck about anything or anybody.

I flew to a spot one time, it was storming, lightning, shit, the plane was bouncing around, and I was fucking mad. I was hanging onto the seat and my fucking hands were white. I was incredibly rude to the flight attendant and a couple other people.

I can be an intimidating person, I’m not the handsomest guy, and I look rather mean and get a dark expression when I’m pissed off , and I have a rather sharp tongue, people usually don’t bother me.

Just when I thought I was going to blow my fucking lid this nice looking woman comes down the aisle out of nowhere, a passenger. She takes the empty seat next to me, puts her hand on mine, looks at me with the bluest eyes, and says in the softest voice,

“Don’t be afraid, I don’t like flying either, let’s ride it out together.”

She knew what was wrong with me; everyone else thought I was an asshole. I calmed right down and fell asleep on her shoulder, I felt like a fucking baby after. Mr Macho man, fuck.

I like the Greyhound though. It kind of moans, crawling along the highway, I sleep easy on a bus, any vehicle, always have.

So I sit here, writing, watching the blackness outside the window, the lights of the towns as they go by. Fuck, I need a cigarette.

I'm Wireless

So I got my wireless for my laptop. I’ll be online this summer and won’t have to go seeking Internet cafĂ©’s in various cities, though I know where most of them are now.

I still won’t be able to post as often as I would like because of the hours I work, but I will be able to post more often than if I didn’t have wireless.

I love my laptop. I remember a time when it was a bitch to find a payphone to call home when I was younger, now I have a connection to a world wide web, technology, who knew.