When I wore my hair in pigtails, my daddy said he thought it was beautiful, but my mother said it was not appropriate. I never actually wore my hair in pigtails. I am sorry I lied to you, I am so sorry, I don’t know why I always do this.
Here I’ll tell you a story to make up for that. Do you think it’ll make you smile? I’d do anything to make you smile, please smile, please, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
Here is my story. My mother never let me go to carnivals. Every single year the carnival would come to town and Stephanie would say, “The carnival has come to town.” I liked Stephanie very much and so did all of the boys because she was extra pretty and always told them no.
The first year I asked my mother if I could go and my mother said I should never trust something that could be built in a day and that even though I had been searching for my breath and I thought I could catch it at the top of the Ferris wheel, I could not go. I did not cry because that is not what ladies do and at the time I didn’t even know what country ladies came from but when I was eight I wished I was Irish like Stephanie because her mother let her ride the Ferris wheel and didn’t even mind when she cried sometimes.
Am I boring you? Oh, I am so sorry. I promise this story will make you smile. You’ll laugh and laugh and your face will split open right down the middle and seeds will spill out and each one will grow into another smile but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The second year the carnival came to town I did not ask if I could go, and I found out that my mother is German so ladies must be from Germany where they never cry and they always keep their knees together and brush their hair and say “yes ma’am” and “yes sir” even when they want to use that word that Stephanie taught me while we were waiting in lines for the swings. It was a very naughty word and I tried it on my tongue and it tickled like when I giggle and I liked the way it felt very much.
Years don’t last long, but days drag by so slowly. Each day the carnival would be in town, I would tie up my time in nots, not doing this, not doing that. And then the carnival would leave, but all of a sudden it would be back again and I began to hate the Ferris wheel because I knew it was moving on without me and seemed to be doing just fine.
Then one year a boy came to town and I couldn’t help but say “yes sir” because I had paid real close attention when my mother told me to never to talk back, a lady never says no. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to keep my knees together while I was saying yes but my legs had grown very long so I thought maybe that rule didn’t count anymore.
And this boy picked me up one night and my parents loved him because he had freckles on his nose and my mother said that freckles were angel kisses and I could always tell she was ashamed that no angels wanted to kiss me. But one night he picked me up and took me to the carnival and we did not tell my parents because I told him, “Shhh, it’s a secret” and we did not say a word.
When we got there I was very, very empty so the boy, it doesn’t really matter his name anymore even though I’ve got it written all over old notebooks. Some memories and names and places have grown out to the very tips of my hair and every, oh, six months or so, I trim them off, but I promise I won’t forget this boy’s name. But this boy said to fill me up we would get cotton candy and I thought this was lovely because I had never tasted cotton candy before.
But let me tell you what I found out. I found out that cotton candy is what is wrong with the world. No matter how much I would shove into my mouth with my fingers sticky blue, it would never reach the back of my throat and it never filled me up. And people were walking up and down past the rides and the prizes and they were talking about how they simply just adored the cotton candy and I wanted to scream at them and tell them that it wasn’t something to praise. It was sweet when it touched your lips but then it was gone and I hated the way it left me knowing that I would never be able to fill myself up and that just wasn’t okay and I wanted to tell them that.
But ladies are empty and are not filled with yelling words, and so I just followed the boy as he led me to the Ferris wheel and I was still very sad when we climbed in the seats.
And, here, this is the part you will smile at. This is the joke. We rode to the very top of the Ferris wheel, the very, very top and I was still just as empty and I still never caught my breathe and we went around and around and I still didn’t feel a thing when we walked back to his car and he took a kiss from me and I know my lips tasted like cotton candy. I had spent all of my time waiting, and once I got what I wanted, what I had always wanted, it still wasn’t enough.
Isn’t that just wild? Don’t you think that’s just a riot? You should be laughing, you should be laughing, I don’t understand, why aren’t you smiling? Come on baby, please smile. Oh, I’ve ruined it again. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. I’ll try better next time, I promise I will. I promise to make you smile next time. I know I can do it. Here, let me try again. Oh please baby, let me try again.
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