Carnival Without People

A carny sleeps off the Midland, Texas morning. A ride called The Tornado stayed folded in its trailer. “…there was no motion. Nobody coming or going. There were no carnies or talkers or troupers, no roustabouts or ride jockeys, no Marlboro Reds rolled up in greasy t-shirts, no shills or sharpies, no blade glommers or lot lizards looking for a party, no greenies, no marks or mooches, no hammer-squash customers for the butchers to fleece. I turned away from the slumbering carnival and shut my eyes, repeating the mantra, ‘Life Is A Carnival.’ From a thousand miles away in Woodstock Cemetery Levon Helm sang an eternal message of hope: ‘You can fly off a mountaintop. Anybody can.’ Down the road, there’s always something. Maybe not the carnival you want, but a golly just the same.” —from Souls Along The Road

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