Friday, May 12, 2006

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.

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