Carnival

Have I been hypnotized by what my eyes have found? This moment in my life blooms within my mind a glorious picture. And I pinch myself to feel if it’s true. Two feet step forward, and I am at the carnival.

So many sights. The lights and the smells. The giant wheels roll, the crowds frolic in seas of laughter and smiles. Men on stilts, animals in cages, and swords in men.

Step by step, men entice me to try this-or-that, to test my luck, or to take a chance. With joy, I lose a few dollars and gain a few lifeless, but smiling, toys. Toys that are given up to the next child with empty hands.

There are many shows, hidden beneath thick canvas tents and curtains. The malformed individuals of the world are showcased and enjoyed. Some are mocked and spat upon, but all in the name of humor and good fun. It’s the joy of the carnival.

Animals do tricks. Humans do tricks. The crowds enjoy them, but most anticipate entering this year’s brand new attraction–the Haunted House. None wanting to leave the carnival without entering it.

It’s the grand opening. There is a crowd. All those at the carnival line up and push their way towards the new attraction. Two feet step forward, and I am in line for the Haunted House. And I pinch myself to feel if it’s true.

But have I been blind? My father draws me, and I must go home. I cannot enter the Haunted House. I was told to come home. And I know it.

Stepping out of line, I now dodge vendors, carts, and ground cables through the now-deserted walkways of the carnival. An occasional individual hastily makes his way past me to the Haunted House. Everyone has left the small rides, simple games, and silly gags. The walkways are empty, most lights further from the Haunted House have even been turned off. It is difficult to find my way towards the carnival’s main exit.

Individuals on the same journey greet me, and we make our way together. There are only a few, however. A handful have decided to leave. And I am one.

Finally, after a few wrong turns, bumps and bruises from tripping on unlit obstacles, and other irritations, my comrades and I stand at the exit. I turn to see the Haunted House in the distance. The crowd is huge. It’s hard to believe, but there is more than enough room for them all in the new Haunted House. It’s state-of-the-art. It’s modern. And it caters to all people.

It would be so much easier to shut my eyes and play along. But I turn around and begin my journey home. Though I yet feel a small desire to visit the grand Haunted House, a greater desire fills me still. A desire I act on. And I leave the carnival.

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