Nothing says fun like a midway. Everything comes in candy colors, bright, shining, blinking, glowing, popping, chirping, everyone wins! Even the carnies, dried and brown and tired, they push and prod shy teenagers towards each other like smoke-stained Cupids. Why don’t you win that pretty girl a rose? How can you help but smile? Laugh? Spin and shriek on the rides, get your hands and face sticky with funnel cake and giant hot dogs, win your girl a prize?
And yet, there are moments when a clearing opens up in the crowd, and for a minute I see a woman sitting on a child’s wagon, alone on empty pavement. Another moment later, and she is lost as the crowd fills the space again. That is what I am looking for: the moments when the spell is broken, and all the cotton candy and inflatable dolphins can’t stop her feet from aching, can’t keep the boredom from a child’s face as he waits for his dad to return, can’t cheer up a toddler as he screams on the carousel.
The people in these photos have stopped to wait, stopped to think, stopped to rest. In a way, they have left the midway. They stand still while it moves along without them. In the midst of the people and the rides and the games, they have found quiet.
(Of course, the one I have left to do is the one I need most to have done. Still, it's nice to know that there's only one left.)