[Originally written on this date in 2005]
Currently, the sideshow I have been traveling with since July is stationed in Sinking Spring, PA – we are there as part of a local attraction that is open for the Halloween season called Shocktoberfest. We have worked long hours since day one, where performing takes up ten to twelve hours each day and occasionally we break out the Midnight Madness and will be in that tent until one in the morning. However, we are now operating on the schedule of the spot we’re in, as it is open Thursday through Sunday. This means that there are three days during the week where we aren’t working and that feels really weird after having adjusted to the way things go.
Then again, this is an entirely different setup than a carnival lot – we are actually in a former industrial park that was purchased by some local guy and converted into a space with three different attractions that are peddled as ‘haunted’. The ‘asylum’ looks like an old park building that they just filled with props, though apparently it’s painted to glow under black light and also has 3-D elements, and we are occupied on a piece of land to it’s left, the menagerie next to us and about a quarter mile of park that stretches into a large open field which is also used as a flea market on occasion. Crossing that you come to the ‘prison’, a completely man made structure that must have taken hours to construct, and on the opposite side is the entrance of the hayride. This takes you into the woods, though I haven’t had time to explore that yet.
Anyway, since Jersey was only a two hour drive, I asked my boss if it was alright for me to take off and visit. Imported a Canadian with me, the Human Pincushion who is currently fucking with me while I am typing. While I certainly did not expect to make a friend while traveling, I am really glad that I have had the opportunity to get to know someone else who has chose to perform an act that has such a high physical demand. That is a story for another time, as I made promises to take him sight seeing on account I couldn’t pass up showing off my home state to someone who has never been here before.
Activities planned for this dreary day include driving up Unimax, as I may have spread the tale of its legendary existence and my friend not only wants to see it, but expressed interest in purchasing some jewelry. Being more than happy to oblidge, I would like to make the most out of the trip since I am unsure if there will be another chance to visit before we move on to the tree lot. Hitting up a diner is in order as well, since you can’t come to Jersey without experiencing some greasy goodness consumed in a retro atmosphere. Do they have diners in Canada? For various reasons I must see James, and introducing one good friend to another can only have a hilarious outcome.
Really hoping that I did not catch the Carny Flu – despite being really excited to show off the Garden State, my energy has been seriously lacking these past few days. However, this will not deter me from driving into the City, which is worth feeling slightly crappy in exchange for being able to purchase massively affordable jewelry before hitting the road again.
Before I head out, I wanted to note that I am likely returning for good around the 25th of December, which works out well. Having been saving most of my money this whole time, I plan on keeping with the birthday tradition of getting a new body modification, and I have something in mind that I wanted to do for a few years now, so I might as well jut get it done already. As far as actual plans for my birthday [or NYE] go, there are none at the moment since my thoughts have been a bit preoccupied with work and travel.
There was a postcard I had received that got buried in the pile of mail which has accumulated since I left, though my partner’s mother was kind enough to set aside anything addressed to me so I did not miss out on bills or anything. Without even seeing the reverse side I knew who it was from – the picture on the front was of a roller coaster we rode together a few years ago, though I remember the view from the top of the lift hill and the breathtaking sunset that followed as though it happened yesterday. There was nothing written aside from my name and address, or so it seemed to anyone who looked at the postcard before it came into my possession.
Invisible markers are a brilliant invention though, and after a minute of scribbling I saw the message attached to the image that brought back happy memories. The length was unimportant compared to the strength of emotion put into the small words crammed into the writing space provided. It was the fact he thought of me, often enough to have gone out of his way to purchase something he knew I would see and instantly think of him. At first it was really difficult not to have any contact with him, but as I fell into the routine of work and travel, I cam to accept that this is just how things are. They have the potential to change, and what seems like an insignificant scrap of cardboard is exactly what I needed to remind me that I am not as alone as I may feel.
That is enough for now, even though there are so many other things that I could write about, but those stories are being saved up in a journal for the time being. What I can say for sure is that I have really been enjoying this whole experience and definitely feel as though it is helping me on so many levels.