There are moments.
It is a mundane little warren of amusements. Decidedly low tech, immune to any real throngs, no hint of pigs at a trough while waiting for your turn. It was clean and plain. It was inexpensive and deservedly so. It reminded me of so many businesses I'd seen that had not taken off yet; still the vision of a man or woman or two, future uncertain, working for every dollar and cadging every guest the hard way. If you'd ever been to Disneyland in Anaheim a long time ago you'd know what I mean. Just a carnival with flat tires. I remember when they announced they'd try making a go of it in the swamp in Florida, and it was even money if it would be there in five years. I don't think you could get even money where we were yesterday.
But there is a sort of wearisomeness to having a blast now. The movies are like a visual beating; the rides at an amusement park are a kind of Bataan Death March of fun to wait for your turn, and then simply a test of your will to hold down your lunch; the cost of everything puts too much pressure on you to enjoy yourself or you're a fool. How are you going to enjoy yourself worrying about enjoying yourself? There's no leisure in it. It's pointless to look for it there.
I stood on the Merry-Go-Round, next to my toddler, and the gentle sine wave of his horse's circuit put me in a kind of dream. The sun was in his cockpit, and the wind touched our faces as gently as any lover. The lake reflected the sky and the little blue train came by on its leisurely meander through the dormant cranberry bogs on its way to the little station. My boy waved to it like it was his friend.
I was supposed to be bored, I guess. There was nothing there to interest an adult that they didn't bring. But I assure you I would have stood there next to that fiberglass horse on the brass pole with the little twist to it, and the silent, beaming boy on it, until the sun went dark forever and the stars fell in on themselves.
But dad, there's lemonade over there.