Sideshow - June 9, 2010
I am a complete mark for the State Fair. And the circus. I wish I had been taken, when I was younger, and had the presence of mind to have paid attention. The sights and smells are so different than today.
Of course, being PC has shattered the illusions of long ago. The things that were the highlights of the shows have long since been ran off. My old pal, Schlitzie would never had made it today. But. Back in that day there was the Main areas, and the sideshow area. Its the sideshow that I truely love. To be amazed, mystified, ilusioned, and sleight of handed all at once.
Today little of the old sideshows exist anymore. Some hardy souls are trying, but the bearded ladies, and strongmen of the past, are still there, in the past.
I go to the State Fair each year. I buy the pass that allows me to come and go as I please. I always make several trips up there, taking in those changed sights and sounds. I used to walk past the few remaining holdoputs from the past, that occasionally dotted the landscape. The Lizard Boy. The Worlds Smallest Horse. The Fish Boy. And the 14 inch tall woman.
It only cost a buck, or so to go see them. Its like walking into a fight you know that is going to happen. I know that I am going to be am amazed, illusioned, mystified and slight of handed as I reach into my pocket. Yet, reason would be trumped by memories of a childhood long since in the past.
Balancing amazement, disapointment, and the feeling that I had been 'gotten' again, each and every time.
As I grew older, the lure of the World's Smallest Horse grew less and less. The displays started to peter out and each year or so, another would disappear into the darkness of what used to be.
Now I walk by and smile. Smug in my knowing the secret. Being in on the joke. Standing back and watching the other rubes walk the path I set forth in front of them. Now, there is only one final Sideshow act left. And the Barker is trying to sell me a ticket. With wild promises that this is the one and only! I will be amazed. I will be mystified! I will be shocked! I will be ilusioned. I will be sleight of handed. And I will close my eyes and fall into the bosom of the one that will catch me when I fall.
The desire to have that happen overwhelms me. The latest, and greatest of the Sideshow acts. Stands before me. All I have to do is close my eyes and believe. Nevermind the smoke and mirrors I see off to the corner of my eyesight.
I've only a scant few nickels left. Do I go for what I know is there? Or do I go for what I want to be there? Its getting late, and I am running out of time. How long until the Sideshow packs up and leaves? What State is next for the Fair?
I have the known of a few things. Safe and secure. Things that are at the fair each and every year. Racing pigs. High Wire divers. Clowns and carneys. And I have the unknown of this as promised new and improved, never to disappoint act. Its a Solomon's choice. How to decide the fate of the nickels that clink in my pocket.
I think I have had enough of the Sideshow for a while. I am going to walk in the sunshine. Immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the present. I've looked to the future, and all it offers is more of the same. I will be amazed. I will be mystified. I will be illusioned. And I will be slight of handed. And at the end of the day, I will be disapointed.
Walking in the past comforts me with the calmness of putting all of that behind you. Its a disapointment, but its a safe one. The future holds the unknown and with that its trips and snares. Yet, the Sideshow Barker is trying to sell me a future, that I know is rooted in the worst of the past.
I have to say No. Goodbye to those things. Its a beautiful day outside. And the wind in my hair and the sun in my face never lie. Besides if I look hard enough, I just might find some puddles to jump into.