Wrote this last April 2011, inspired by the song Last carnival by Norihiro Tsuru, for Park Jung Su @special1004
A gift for you Livejournal.
She stared at the big arc that displays the theme park’s wonderfully colored logo and mascot in awe. She didn’t expect the place to be that big, she felt her excitement shoot up as her friends dragged her to the entrance and paid for their tickets. As she handed that little piece of paper to the ticket master, she felt like a little girl again on a school trip. This was a very well deserved break since she’s getting sick of all the stress at work. And it doesn’t really matter that she’s just turned 27 today, a theme park is a theme park, and everybody’s a kid here.
As she walked toward the main park, she can see the giant carousel with its flashing lights and smiling horses. She saw the longest roller coaster as it swerves right and left and goes up and down around the whole place. Her eyes averted to the swirling Ferris wheel, smiling as she followed the gentle movement of the rotating ride. She felt so much at ease as she saw dancing ladies in period costumes, cotton candies being spun in sticks, colorful clowns doing funny tricks on the street and the smell of roasted peanuts that lingered all over the place. And as she immersed herself in this wonderful environment, she realized that she had been left behind by her friends. Without any sense of panic, she continued to walk and watch everything that’s been going around her. The teenagers in groups, one with hands and hearts, the kids half-dragging their parents to all the rides, friends laughing at one another as they enjoy each other’s company. She chose a bench in the middle where she can see the giant carousel and the different kinds of people that passed by. She pulled out her journal and began taking notes of what she was seeing; the gentle gaze of a lover, the loving hands of a mother, the playful piggy back ride of a father and the lovely teasing of a friend. She wrote it all down, wanting to keep memories of hose life should be spent. She took it all in to understand how happiness works. Amidst the crowd, she noticed a guy in blue sweater with a picture of a duck in front. He was wearing a hat and also watching the people walk by. He was watching them with intense passion that he didn’t see her looking at him. Intrigued at what this guy is feeling or thinking, she started to describe him in her words, how he shifted his weight from one foot to another, how he beautifully brushes his hair away from his face, how he hides his smile every time he sees a family walks by. She tries to understand him as she studies his every movement. She kept thinking of why this boy is here, is he some kind of stalker? Or a serial killer perhaps, scouting for his next victim? Or maybe he’s a writer on hiatus trying to awaken his ideas by watching the world, or maybe, he’s just like her; maybe he’s taking a break from life and just wants one peaceful evening to enjoy himself and find his soul again. She got lost in her thoughts and when she snapped out of it, he was gone. She frowned and got annoyed at herself for losing him. Oh well, she thought, just another person that passed by. She thought about her eyes and how his dimple sank deeper as he smiled. But then, she stopped. What was she thinking?! Was she attracted to this boy?! Funny, she thought, what am I doing? She laughed as she gathered her thoughts, fixed herself and started to look for her friends.
As she went looking for them, she also started to get lost in the different stories in the crowd, she stopped herself from pulling out her journal and go into writing again, she thought that people might get creep out when a girl just starts writing in the middle of the pavement. She smiled at herself as she imagined the looks people would give her. Absentmindedly, she didn’t notice that her bag was open and that journal fell out.
A message from her friends told her that they would be meeting her in the main plaza after the rides in an hour. The message was sent 45 minutes ago, she hurriedly went to the agreed place, when she arrived at the plaza, the music started and couples began to sway in the dance floor. As she watched the gentle movements being in synced with the music, she started to get her journal but realized that it was not there. A streak of fear enveloped her as she checked her bag again, where could she have dropped it??! She went around the whole theme park looking for the plaza, it was impossible for other people to not notice a journal sitting on the ground. Oh how could’ve she been so stupid, all this time she was running around like an idiot and her stuff was probably falling out one by one. She started to trace back her steps with her eyes fixed on the ground, a pair of yellow sneakers stopped in front of her, she looked up and she was surprised, it was the boy in the blue sweater. She could see him clearly now, his hair was brown almost chestnut, his almond eyes smiling and his dimple sinking where it should be. He asked her to dance, and without waiting for an answer, she led her to the center of the dance floor, took her hand and began to sway to the music. She felt like as if she was in a trance. There she was, dancing with a stranger yet she felt so at ease as he guided her steps to the rhythm of the song. As he twirled her under the moon light , her heart stopped and she knew, at that very moment, that she was home.
Her real-life dream got cut when her friends called out to her, he just smiled at her, bowed and thanked her for being with him that night, she thought that its very weird of him to say that but when she tried to say something, he started to leave. She tried to stop him but her friends called her again and when she looked back, he was gone.
As the night went by, even though she’s now in the comfort of her friends, her mind kept wandering to the mysterious boy that made her skip a heartbeat. Just when they were about to go home, she finally remembered about her journal, she asked her friends to help her find it and one suggested they start in the park where she last used it. When they got to the bench where she sat earlier, she once again saw the boy. He was sitting gracefully, his hands were clutching something. It looked like he was going to trade his life for it if someone tries to take it away. As she approached him, he stood up and smiled. He reached out to her, her journal at his hands. She took it and said her thanks. He only smiled and said her gratitude wasn’t good enough. She was taken aback; she never thought he would be this rude. Just as she was about to give him a piece of her mind, he smiled again and asked for her name. He said that it would be the best reward for returning her journal. She stepped back, is there something wrong with this guy? He is very strange indeed. He laughed, and told her not to be afraid, he only wanted to know the name of the girl that danced with him and made him feel like she was the one he wanted to dance his whole life with. With that being said, he once again took her hand and swayed her to the music of the theme park as it nears its closing time.
Last Carnival, April 2011
Park Jung Su-Leeteuk