every february a small carnival sets up in the fairgrounds parking lot just across from my house. the trailers and flatbeds start arriving on tuesday and by wednesday everything is up and running. usually by thursday i've got to wait until midnight for the rise and fall of screams to die down, and by sunday i'm filled with loathing for its monotonous music and neon.

this week's rain has turned the carnival sad and ghostly, has elicited from me a tenderness toward its empty swings and pointed tents, its tilting bear ride and dragon roller coaster for babies.

pictures such as these are better black and white.

but on the periphery of the carnival, i came around to the back of a trailer. its occupant, in a desire to make a temporary home homier, had placed an artificial pot of sunflowers outside the door.

needless to say, this warmed my heart.

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