Sunday, May 13, 2007

The End

It's that time of year again, a week ago it was, I'm always on the greyhound the first week of May. Last season I was long gone by this time. It feels strange not going, I think I'll be fine though, my heart does ache some. I live near a highway in this tiny town I'm in. The other night it was hot in my apartment so I was sitting outside smoking and staring at the stars, watching the trucks and cars go by, swishing away into the night, down the highway, their red tail lights fading. It suddenly occurred to me that it didn't matter where they were going, I'd probably already been there in my travels. I don't have to wonder anymore. That little voice inside that always whispered to me, tugged at me, has gone to bug someone younger. Things are as they should be.

I smiled when I realized this, watching that highway. I had a good run, better and longer than most. So many ran out of steam years ago, got tied down,married, kids, but I just kept going until there was no where to go anymore. While a lot of the people, friends, others, gave it up because they thought they had too, I knew that was a lie, we make our own choices, I never let time squeeze me out. The industry changed, I'm the same, time to go in a different direction.

The things I'll miss? The people I've worked and lived, and partied, and hurt, and sweated with all these years.

The hot sun turning me a dark brown.

The early morning dawn as we finish tear down and all mill around the trucks, smoking, waiting to get paid, talking about the next city, excited to be the fuck out of this one.

Riding in the truck, my back killing me, my vision bleary, watching the city melt away as we get to the main highway and then start making time. Me leaning back, closing my eyes , drifting off, listening to the hum of the motor, unconscious...dreaming.

The Midway at night, sparkling, busy, hot, excitement, and knowing I live there, everyone else has to go home.

My bunk, small but roomy. Listening to the young guys party and talk shit late into the night while I lay there, the "old guy", smiling, remembering when I was their age, and just as dumb.

I could go on and on, I'll miss it all and I'll never forget any of the people I love out there. I have no regrets, just lots of memories. We all have eras in our lives, times we remember fondly, I have always recognized them when they were upon me, while they were happening, we can't hang onto them, time won't let us, they slip by. Be aware of these times and experiences while they're happening, savor them as they pass by. No regrets.

People will remember me for a number of years to come, time will take them too, new faces will take their place, and someday no one will know who I was, but I'll know, I'll always know who I am.

I will continue to rewrite stuff, fill in gaps etc. This Blog is done though. Thanks for reading and your comments, you've all been too kind.

("You may bury my body down by the highway side so my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride.")

--Me And The Devil Blues by Robert Johnson

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

way to end it. Godspeed in your future endeavors...

Anonymous said...

It does not look like you are doing many more entries on this blog. But I sort of came upon it by accident and ended up reading all entries. You are a good writer with some interesting stories. My friend and I are working on a small project that may or may not happen but we are interested in doing a documentary on carnival workers. You seem like you have some great insight into the profession and the life style. I am not sure this would be anything you would be interested in participating in but you might be able to point us in the right direction. If not, that is ok too. You can contact me at teileen72@hotmail.com if you are. Thank you for your stories....

changapeluda said...

awww man!
this is the first time i've been here & you're already gone??

oh well

i can't miss what i didn't know, right....

although i just read your last post and i really liked it as it reminded me of building houses with my dad and being outside and talking shit and falling asleep in the truck on the way home.....

any way gooood luck to you, wherever you are.....

Ray said...

I have been reading your blogs for a few days now, trying to get the feel of being a carny. I have always loved the excitement of fairs..the lights, the fast-paced environment, the constant cloud of smoke that layers the air. All of it. I have met and listened to some interesting stories over the years, though, none as in depth as yours. Tomorrow I am going to a fair to see about packing up and hitting the roads. I am nervous as hell but my excitement overpowers it all. I may end up never being what you explained as a true carny, maybe just stay in for a season or two? Who knows? I am doing it for me. Not to runaway, not because I don't fit in in society. Basically just to try it out, I guess. Anyways, I just wanted to say that your stories are amazing...I want to live a life like that. One where the stories have no end, one that you enjoyed for the most part.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories. I owned a mug joint and traveled across Canada and then played the South at the end of the season. Charleston was our last show.

I have been out of the business for 25 years, but still miss it. It was the best job I have ever had. The sky is a 180 degrees in Regina. The road from Edmonton to Regina is long as is the road from London, Ontario to Winston-Salem.

I think the best time was sloughing. It has a social aspect that the rest of the time didn't have. Yeah, the folks are great.

tank said...

I started my career at the CNE in Toronto. I remember the smells, sounds and experiences associated with that time of the year. Now 36 years later, 20 years removed from the Road, I still get the familiar CNE feeling whenever early August rolls around. It's in the air and in my veins.