At the end of the midway stood the giant wheel. The ticket-taker was old and thin. The man stooped under a stained blue cap.
A woman walked to the gate. She stopped and smoothed her slacks. She adjusted her handbag on her shoulder, then handed her ticket to the attendant. The man made a guttural sound, and he punched a hole in the ticket.
A second man guided the woman to her seat. This man wore a red bandana and a black tee shirt. The man didn’t look up. “Just one of ya?”
She slid into the car. The man…
“Synesthesia. I have synesthesia.” She pulled her sunglasses away and leaned forward. “You know, the senses thing?”
“No, not really.”
“It happens to some people. Two senses become interlinked. You know, tangled together. Like hearing sounds when you taste certain foods. For instance, when some people associate a sound or color with objects. Like the sound of a voice might be orange? Some people envision numbers in colors, like me. I guess other people hear Mozart when they eat a banana.”
She giggled, and her coal-black eyes softened. “It’s kind of cool. I like to think it lets me see…
He loaded the trunk first. Packages neatly wrapped — parcel post-ready boxes in dull brown paper with tidy strings tied squarely around — were gently set down next to the spare tire and a small toolbox.
A frayed Raggedy Ann doll was placed in the back seat, her worn yarn face staring forward. The painted head of an old rocking horse was laid beside her where at one time two young girls swung their legs impatiently, unconcerned about scuffing the seat in front of them.
The man sat behind the wheel, reached across the front seat, opened the door, and…
the tide of people,
the swarm hurrying across gargantuan
sun-streamed rooms as
they rush in a glide along golden handrails
before descending through smooth marble stairwells,
some tense, and cross, and expended,
brows furrowed, forlorn with unrest
who walk brightly with anticipation,
their comings and goings
each a new adventure,
life not waiting to be lived
Two, side-by-side, standing, silent,
awaiting our decision.
We choose the smaller, the younger one.
Excitement, commotion, a readying of things.
Congratulatory words alight upon us.
A marvelous choice, you are perfectly suited,
the kids will adore him.
The gate unlatched, whisked into another room.
A bathing, inoculation, presented flawless.
A modest sum tendered, a signature penned.
A dizzying, back-seat free-for-all.
We speed away.
New family member, new best friend.
Each of us curious.
How big will he grow?
What tricks will he learn?
Who will be his favorite?
The questions abound, except for one:
What of the other?
Writer, poet, bibliophile, animal lover