Carnival of Dust

I narrow my eyes and try to make sense of the tortuous blue-black lines, snaking their way through the map of this strange city. The sun begins to dip in the west, emanating pale gleams of warm light, like dying embers of a small fire.

rub my hands and breathe out some hot air, making me feel like a dragon, only this one exhales air. These dark, silent pine trees make it difficult to comprehend the map; I raise it slightly to catch some light before it finally gets dark.

At last, I make out where I am. I’m almost at the edge of these woods, where my odyssey would end. Longfully I look toward the roughly trodden path, at its end lies my elysium.

I trek and trodd, jump and wade and at last I hear the music. Faint, distant hum of a melody playing from some old instrument. Like a drunk jazz musician, it goes on playing. I’m close.

I make it through the final shrub, and in front of me lies the carnival. Abandoned, unkempt, uncared and nested beyond the pines, this is the place I saw in my dream.

The roller coaster still works as it climbs atop steadily, until it plummets to the ground, in one great leap. The roller coaster is empty.

The bulbs above the desolate trivia game still glow- on and off, on and off. 

The screen above the horoscope machine still blinks red- ‘Insert Coin Here.’ 

The rider less Carousel Horse goes up and down. Round and round the brightly lit centrepiece.

All you hear is solitary music from dying carnival swings. Nobody has been here for a very long time.

I make my way to the place I wanted to go. The moment where maybe I’d find my answer.

I head towards the ominously rotating giant wheel. The wheel pauses and ignoring my fear of heights, I shiver as I lock myself on a seat. The swing immediately powers up and takes me slowly to the top. I see the carnival receding below and the night sky coming closer and closer.

The moment is near.  

And just as I reach the top, the swing creaks and halts, leaving me hanging in the air, above the desolate and hollow carnival. I hold my breath and blink. Waiting.

A soft wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine as I finally breathe.

No answer comes.
Nothing but silence.

More silence.

At some distance in the star studded sky, I see the sparkles of a firework. Someone somewhere fired it up for me? Another one races to the top with its burning tail, finally exploding into the night, sending vapors of fire everywhere.

This moment on this brightly lit, rusted giant wheel is where I thought I’d find you. Waiting for me. On this buckled seat. And maybe, we’d share this together. The distance, the height, the dark, this cold, the spark.

But maybe, this is how it ends and this is why the dream brought me here. Wistfully, I smile. For here it is, that I’ve found my closure.

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20 thoughts on “Carnival of Dust

  1. Undoubtedly closure is the most important thing. If you don’t get it life becomes a living hell. There is this small pinching feeling that accompanies you everywhere. And closure buries it all down. Nice writing , had a great build up and truly perfect ending. Solitude is a great for a clearer mind. And just like those fireworks i felt yes it will all be okay. Loved this one. Heart touching and soothing . I felt a strange calm upon reading this one, cant explain it but i do feel at peace. Keep up the exceptional writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What was closure if not a clock? Not an end as everyone imagined, but a beginning.
    Such an excellent insight of feelings you put through your words, and I second what Aniket said in the comment above that this post enthralled a sense of calmness while reading.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Neal. I feel so fortunate to have incited any kind of emotion while reading this.
      I wrote this post in a different and more sordid state of mind. Truly, my efforts have been rewarded.

      Thank you so much. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Absolutely lovely Aakansha. I may or may not have told you, I was actually raised for thirteen years by the fine people on what was then the largest traveling carnival in the entire world, Royal American Shows. They found me as a 10-year-old runaway on a Manitoba highway, and after weaseling the information they needed out of me, they negotiated things with my father (in a phone-call I only learned about much later), and…well as they say, the rest is history. Those old-style carnivals really are pretty much a thing of the past, and your description of coming across the corpse of one of the smaller ones even managed to make these old eyes of mine a little moist. Thanks for the memories Writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You always strike a chord with me Mr. David.
      And I never knew that! You must know a lot about carnivals then. I would love to know more about this phase of your life, if you ever feel like writing about it, please don’t hesitate in sending me a link.

      This makes me really happy. Making people ‘feel’ a certain way always gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel like my words are making an impact, on someone somewhere.
      Thank you for that beautiful comment and thank you for sharing this treasured memory of yours.
      You’re one of my favorite people on WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are correct about the abundance of memories I have of that period of my life, and I certainly will share some of them with you as soon as I get this next couple of months settled with the move and everything. Right now, however, I will tell you that one of the greatest things I always believed was instilled in me during those early formative years of my life, was my acceptance of people for who they were, rather than what they appeared to be, or the circumstances they found themselves in. There were approx. 1250 people on that Show, and included among that group were many people of small stature (dwarves, or little people, as they were referred to then with absolutely no animosity intended), many folks suffering from conditions such as hunched backs, and other physical deformities. In the extreme, we traveled with the folks who made up what was called “The Freak Show” before the government stepped in, putting a stop to it, strangely enough, mostly against the wishes of those who referred to themselves as “The Freaks”. After all, there really wasn’t many other ways an eleven hundred pound man was going to make 50-60 thousand dollars a year, since he was even unable to walk, and moved along with us in a modified hospital van. The Bearded Lady, on the other hand, during the off-season, had obvious ways of caring for her medical issues, as did the Reptile Lady, and it was basically a case-by-case scenario, but no one was being abused, or forced to do anything they hadn’t volunteered to do. Anyway, these, as well as a bunch of bikers, some gangsters, the first members of the LGBT community I had ever met (no, no one tried to accost me), and just a bunch of regular folks, as well as societal rebels, were my friends and my family for 8-10 months out of the year, every year, for thirteen years or so. By the time I was an adult, it would never occur to me to look down on ANYONE, just because they were DIFFERENT in some way. And that’s a gift I would never give up, and I can only repay by honoring it, which is what I’ve always tried to do. So…sorry about the length of this, but I guess I ended up telling you a story anyway. Have a great week Aakansha, and keep up that amazing writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I always usually read your comments twice. This one I read thrice.

          You’ve taught me so much already what from your posts, photography, your general appreciation of things people usually ignore in the normal course of life.
          Life teaches us lessons we carry throughout our journey, and it is our duty to maybe make others see the light too.

          Who knew you’d do that through a comment Mr. David. You just made me really happy at 3:00 in the morning here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not even going to ask why you are still up at three in the morning (writers are curious people), I’ll just thank you for the nice words and wish you some pleasant dreams. Now you get some well-deserved sleep. : )

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