Carnival


“Maybe this is how it’s supposed to happen. It could all be part of it. Maybe this is where the spiritual journey ends,” he says looking into the fire.

It’s muggy outside here in New Jersey.  I live in a small commuter town across the river from New York City. Today, the air is thick and pregnant with the threat of a thunder storm. I walked to the Borders bookstore from my apartment. It’s about a ten minute walk but I enjoy going to Borders for the atmosphere (who doesn’t?) and I like taking walks. Sometimes it’s good to be alone without any music or tv. It’s good to be alone with yourself.

It’s strange because living across the river from the largest city in America is almost symbolic of the way my life seems to have gone so far. I moved back to the USA from China to find a publishing job and move to New York. I moved first from China to California, my family lives there, and then from California to New Jersey. Almost New York, but not quite.

I’m somewhat afraid that this is a pattern. I feel as though there were many things I almost did but just didn’t quite get there. I almost did a lot of things but just didn’t go all the way.

On the way to Borders, there’s vacant lot which is housing a carnival this weekend. The lights from the temporary rides flash and I can hear kids screaming and laughing. I can smell the fried and grilled food wafting across the sidewalk. Last night, there were fireworks at the carnival. I could hear and see the colors and shapes bursting above the little Ferris wheel from my apartment window. Tomorrow is Monday. By tomorrow night, the lights, rides, food, and fireworks will have been packed up and will move on to another town.

I wonder if all this frustration I have from not making good on a lot of things in my life will be like that. Maybe this is just part of life and all the fireworks and craziness will just pack up one day and move on.

I watched the Darjeeling Limited the other night. In the movie, along with the quote at the beginning of this entry, there’s a part where Adrian Brody says “I tried my hardest. I don’t know what else to do.”

I really hope though, that what Owen Wilson said is true. “Maybe this is how it’s supposed to happen. It could all be part of it. Maybe this is where the spiritual journey ends.”

Their mother later says, “Yes, the past happened. But it’s over, isn’t it?” she says to her three sons. “Not for us,” Francis replies.

I think that no matter how things end, they’ll never really end for me. I’ll keep revisiting them in my mind.

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