Secret Pop

Mar 8, 2005

into the groovy

I went for a run at high noon, and it was a difficult one this time. I never felt the wind in my sails. I just felt my feet burning in my shoes and my brain finding reasons why I might want to shave a bit off my usual five miles.

The wind seems to blow so vigorously from west to east. The first half of my run is always slowed by it. Slighty uphill and into the wind. I dance across mashed berries fallen from overburdened trees. And I try not to get so caught up in my solitude that I find myself accidentally singing aloud.

There is a flower shop I run past with a statue of a jockey standing out in front holding a ring. I always want to snatch it. I have not been on so very many carousels in my lifetime, but I don't know that any of them actually had a brass ring for getting. Or maybe it's just that no one told me to look for one. I've always felt I missed out on something there.

There is a carousel in a shopping center in Encino that has the most appalling animals for riding. Dull-eyed monkeys in sports jerseys. Angry giraffes. Zebras. Cheetahs. Hippos with their weird teeth bared. Maybe a space ship. I was interviewing a woman there last spring, and I photographed it, though I don't know that I ever did anything with the pictures. It appealed to me for some reason. When I was a little girl in Virginia, my parents took me to Ocean View Amusement Park for my birthday, and there was a carousel there where we could ride motorcycles. And that was my favorite. I would much rather sit on a machine with buttons to push than on a fiberglass horse with the paint of its mane worn away from so many hands and pants and embraces. I don't know why that is. Years later, they made a movie called The Death of Ocean View Park and actually blew the place up. I sighed a little watching it.

I did have a fake horse of my own back then. She was called "Wonder Horse" according to the cursive script on her side, and she was mounted in a frame and suspended on big metal springs. I would bounce up and down on her a lot, I recall. I think we kept her out on the back porch, which was enclosed. It's funny, I was so young in that house, I can barely remember enough of it to know what the rooms looked like. I just have specific remembrances of being in the hallway trying to get Slinky to go down the stairs or of being in the living room falling asleep on the blue carpet while my parents watched Jimmy Carter win the presidential election. I remember that we had a playset in the back yard, but that the slide and swings were always spotted with bird shit, so I hated to use them. And there were cherry trees I think...? I think my parents tried to make their own wine...? Maybe I'm imagining that part. I can remember which side of my room the window was on and what part of the floor I used to sit on when playing with Lego bricks or the Fisher-Price farmhouse or school bus or the box I used to keep assorted crap in. Bank forms. Paper clips. Empty pantyhose eggs. I collected all manner of nonsense that I would amuse myself with for hours. I was "imaginative" as a child. But not imaginative enough to think to look for a brass ring on a carousel with motorcycles on it.

I am wearing clothes for summer. That's how imaginative I am.

No comments: