Still Hanging Around

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Well, there seems to be some delay in heading down to Maryland, that being there is no one to take care of the livestock from the menagerie, as that person is currently overseas.  This is important since their owners [aka my bosses] are going to be occupied with running the tree lot and all, so I am still in Jersey and unsure of what to do with myself.

My car is dead but I did get permission to make use of a truck today, so I am trying to think of what to do before that opportunity is over.  Must go to the store while also avoiding vast amounts of holiday shoppers.  Though I had planned errands for Saturday, I took one look at the massive line of cars just waiting to get in the parking lot and said fuck that.

Perhaps I will invite the Canadian to come hang out with me for a few days, seeing as how he is bored to tears back in PA.  He left quite a hilarious message on my phone last night, which ended with “I’m going to kill someone by the end of the week.”  A visit to James is also in order, if he would return my call or reply to a text message already.

Since there is not much else to write about, I figured now would be as good of a time as any to discuss what has been happening behind the scenes.  Something happened two weeks before I left New Jersey on this sideshow tour.  Something I only shared with a few people, as I had convinced myself it could be worked out and I wanted to believe that more than anything.

The person I have been performing with since the beginning of the year has decided he no longer wished to continue doing so.  Which is pretty funny since he is the one who initially contacted me after seeing one of my advertisement seeking locals interested in learning some skills.  He is also the one who asked me to move in, and I was stupid enough to get us both this job even though I should have gone alone.  Though I feel like a fool for having trusted someone with sideshow secrets who now clearly has no respect for its traditions nor the culture they come from, I suppose it’s better knowing their true feelings rather than continuing to waste my time one someone who clearly doesn’t appreciate it.

Part of me feels as though this was planned, as there has been tension between us that results in petty arguments that left me wondering if he was purposely trying to drive a wedge between us.  Remember that this has been a purely professional relationship, thought does not make it immune from the same issues that arise in romantic ones.  In fact, spending time with the Candian sparked an unusual jealousy, though the two of us are nothing more than friends who enjoy watching movies, playing video games and generally hanging out on account that’s what friends do.

Anyway, at some point during our travels he decided to inform me that not only were we no longer going to be performing together any more, but that I also had to move out after the tree lot.  Then I found out he expressed this desire on that trip out to Altoona.  Well shit, someone should have told me sooner so I could have been better prepared when surprised me with the news.  Oh, and he also decided to tell me that he used me to get back to Jersey in order to get his truck, which is the only reason he agreed to use his AAA card to have my car towed.

While I am pretty pissed about that, I need to stay focused on the work I have ahead of me and then worry about everything else when I am in a position to relocate.  The rest of this year is going to be a long, hard journey that I have to face alone.  Right now I honestly have no reason to trust outsiders – all they do is lie and bullshit to get their way, using you up until there is nothing left and then tossing you aside like a piece of trash.

Emotionally closed for business until further notice.

Moving on to a slightly different subject, I was browsing the web for any mention of the sideshow since there were several reporters who came through taking pictures and asking questions.  Well, this led to the discovery of Rideaccidents.com and this article:

Carnival worker killed while setting up ride

(Tuesday, August 23, 2005) – In Syracuse, New York, a 29-year-old carnival worker was crushed by an amusement ride he was working to assemble. The man was placing wooden stabilizing blocks underneath the structure of the Enterprise ride when the ride shifted and fell on top of him. Rescuers had to use a fork lift to free him. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died.

The man worked for James E. Strates Shows of Florida. His death has been ruled an accident by state police. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun its own investigation.

This is of interest on account I was there when that happened.  We were rolling out the tent for the menagerie and next thing we know, a group of people start running towards one of the rides.  Cue security personnel pulling up in their golf carts.  Next comes the ambulance, and then the media.  Two hours later, we found out what happened from our boss and needless to say the mood was kind of solemn for the remainder of that day.  Assembling rides has to be the most dangerous carnival job – over the past few months I have heard plenty of stories about injuries and deaths that occur during setup.  It is very different to actually be there when something happens, and I was a bit surprised to find no mention of another death that was in the paper during that same fair, nor of the man that fell while putting up the Indy 500 coaster in Maryland back in September.

Nothing we did was nearly as dangerous, but believe me, there were plenty of bumps and bruises from set up and tear down. And that one time Moose fell off the stage. That’s a whole other can of worms tho.

Before leaving Jersey for another month, I decided to go ahead and acquire the piercing I have been coveting since Summer, that being an earl, or more commonly known as a horizontal bridge.  Earlier today, I headed up to New Brunswick with intentions of going to Sinister Ink, but for some reason I was unable to locate the shop.  If I had more time, I would have walked around until I did find it, but I was borrowing a vehicle and just wanted to get the piercing, so I opted for Sparks instead.

Despite the fact that the piercing room is rather small in an equally small and oddly spaced hair salon, I known several few people who have been pierced there with no problem.  As mentioned, I was using someone’s truck due to the fact my car is still dread, otherwise I would certainly have made the drive all the way up to Starlight to have the piercing done by Dom.  Plus I may have stretched the truth about where I was going, otherwise I likely would not have had a vehicle at all.

Two things that bugged me a little:  the simplistic form I filled out with standard name, address, birth date and a few yes or no questions; the fact that the piercer tried handing me a bottle of ear care solution along with an after care sheet.  What the fuck was that?  Considering I have a few dozen piercings and once apprenticed as one, I would like to believe I know a thing or two about piercings, to the point that I don’t need the spiel about after care.  Unless I have a piercing in a part of my body that I am not familiar with regarding healing time/process, in which case I read everything I can and just listen to my body.  Anyway, the sheet suggested that I use the solution to clean my piercing, while at the same time prompting customers not to treat their it with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.  Guess what’s in that ridiculous solution?

At that point I was glad I knew better, but imagine people actually using that shit because that is what they are told.  Not trying to discredit the piercer, as everyone’s body is different and therefore generalized after care is not always going to work.  He definitely should have know better than to hand out a product that should never be used on any piercing ever.  Okay, rant mode is off – I was just really surprised by the whole thing.  The other 44 piercings apparently do not project the idea that I know how to care for my modifications.

Everything was clean though, otherwise I would not have stayed.  A new needle came from sterile package, jewelry was properly sanitized prior to insertion, clamps were also freshly opened, gloves never came off and skin was prepped as per usual.  He also took his time while marking the entry/exit points, as well as suggesting the position where there was the most amount of tissue in order to lower the risk of rejection.  Having to to lie down on a table was also weird, as most shops have chairs, though I fixed my mind on the soothing ocean noises that filled the room.  It has come to the point where I don’t really get nervous about being pierced any more, but the adrenaline iss still there and makes it hard to keep relaxed.  Focusing on the crashing waves, I was transported to a sandy beach on a beautiful sunny day, my best friend holding my hand as we walked across the pale beach. Deep breath, needle goes in; exhale, needle goes out.

The damn clamps hurt more than anything – it felt as though someone just pinched my bridge really hard.  After sitting up, I realized that the Canadian was right when he said that area has a pressure point, as I most certainly was receiving the effects of the piercing as a small centralized headache.  Over all, I am quite happy with the outcome.  Right now the skin the bar is sitting in is still a bit swollen, but that may be due to the fact that the 12g jewelry is a bit short. Facial expressions cause the skin around the fresh wound to pull a bit, causing slight discomfort.  As long as I don’t intentionally hit it, I should be fine.  Must keep make up away from it as well, but I am not going to be performing any time soon so that shouldn’t be too hard.

Well this turned out longer than I had intended, but there has been a lot going on and I wanted to get some of this off my mind before going back to work.

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