Wednesday, September 12, 2007
New Beginning 361
The amusement park springs to life. Flashing lights tease, begging me to look. Bells and horns. Toy rifles popping off at metal ducks. Balls hitting bottles. Coins bouncing off plates. Squeals of delighted fear as the swings swish by overhead. The sounds fill my ears. And the smells – sawdust under our feet, hot dirty oil of the rides, competing aromas of popcorn and cotton candy, blending into a peculiar lure my stomach isn’t sure it wants.
Dad gives me a slow, brown-eyed wink. Smiling, he points at the cotton candy. I nod. One quick jerk. Can’t be too excited. That’s not cool. He squeezes my shoulder as we head over to where colored sugar is spun into a cloud on a white paper stick. Grinning, he holds it high overhead. The little girl game. I’m too old to play, but I smile. He smiles back and takes a big teasing bite. Pink fluff speckles his black mustache, clings to the stubble on his chin. A wet drop of dark pink leaps from the corner of his mouth, disappears into the sawdust to be trampled by the crowd.
The last fleeting spasms of ecstasy are shooting through me when a tinny voice crackles, "Time's up. How was it?"
The amusement park winks out as I remove the VR goggles. "Close," I reply. "Real close, Frankie." I'm careful not to disconnect any of the sensors attached to my naked body. "Maybe something a little edgier. Not so much sawdust. And I'd rather be the dad. Can you do that? Better yet, uncle. Make me the uncle. And change the little girl to a boy. Swedish—no, California surfer. Licking a cherry Popsicle."
I close my eyes and replay the last scene in my head. It was all so real. My hands still feel sticky, like they actually had cotton can—
"Oh, and Frankie? I'm gonna need another towel."
Opening: Sarah.....Continuation: blogless_troll