Penchants at an Amusement Park

Like a couple bandits, we hop over barricades, slip between the bumpers of stopped cars, and cut through construction sites to reach the fairground.

Two illuminated prongs tower in the distance. I trod towards them. Your placid eyes follow me—easygoing and open to adventure, curious about the promises that I offer.

Suddenly, between the tines, a basket slingshots into the sky. The screams of its riders perforate the din of the expressway traffic. You shoot me a cagey look.

I shrug and extend my hand, helping you climb down an embankment. Your touch is soft and dry. My arm tenses. Lumps of limestone roll under your heels.

We brush the dust from our clothing. Nebulas takes shape before dissipating as a sea breeze carries away the minute debris.

We stroll through the lanes of the fair, shopping for a ride, selecting our thrill for the night, but you find fault in all of these trajectories. Too scary. Too high. Too swift.

Fine. Let’s meditate on the Ferris wheel until you muster your mettle. Spokes of courage slowly turn inside you. I am patient, though, and willing to wait as your nerve builds.

After going round and round, we touch ground, and you find your momentary sea legs. The ride you select for us is like a bowler swinging her arm back and forth, twisting her wrist to spin the ball. We get in line.

As we wait behind the boys in their thobes and girls in their abiyas, the actuary in you surfaces, wavering your resolve. You stand at a crevasse, unable to step over.

Again, I extend a hand to assuage you. Don’t stare into the abyss of misgiving. Cross over with me.

I stand on the other side of the gulf. Not sure what you will decide. Steadfast yet still mortal. Even with my extra years, I am unable to read the filaments of fate, old enough to know better.

You might later question if what I tell you is the truth. And I will tell you that I am not after the truth, I am after my truth. However, there is also your truth—and your truth—but that is all moot.

For this night is about the emotional truth—about what you can discern from the clamor that courses around two people, from the carnival lights reflected in clouded eyes, from the earnest pulse in an open hand.

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