What's in a carnival past the cotton candy and the funnel cakes? The jenky rides you just don't worry about and the lightning you hope won't ruin your night? What's beyond the bands past their primes and local girls in blue ribbons parading themselves in convertibles? After tallboys have been drunk and the rides are disassembled, what happens then?
I invited Missy to come to the fair with us. We were going back to Debuque where I'd lived before moving to Des Moines and becoming friends with Missy. My mom told me I could invite a friend so I called her up. She'd never been, wanted to know what you do there and then had to ask her parents. What the hell kind of kid doesn't know what happens at the fair? Then a further series of phone calls to find out more information for her snotty parents.
Missy's cool but her parents always have to know everything. They want to know how much money she'll need, who else will be going, which hotel we'll be staying at, whether she should pack a bathing suit and on and on. Like I said, she's cool, but she's going to have to learn to stand up to them. It's weird because they won't do anything anyway. They'll just say "I'm disappointed in you." Who gives a shit?
My mom leaves me lists on summer days and I best get all the things on that list done. When she gets home, my clothes are put away, the dishes are done/dried/put away, there's nothing out of place. Missy's mom tries to leave her lists but Missy forgets and then they fight and Missy does the things on the list because her mom guilts her into it. If my list isn't done, it's hard to know how bad it'll be. Depends on my mom's mood. Sometimes she passes out and doesn't notice or messes up the parts of the list I did do. Other times I'll avoid seeing anyone for days because I'll be sore from a whooping.
After many calls back and forth, Missy is packed and ready to go. She walks her backpack over to my house and get in the car to drive the three hours to Debuque. Missy clicks her seatbelt into place and winces at the country music. She knows better than to ask for a change though. In her parent's car, they listen to what she wants, but she's got a good idea how things work around here and suffers in silence.
As we get closer the sun begins to set in the broad, flat skyline and we hunker down and talk strategy for meeting boys: what we've brought to wear, how she'll do our makeup and I'll do our hair. We get to the hotel and prepare for a whole new scene of boys.
The fair is a flop and we're back at the hotel in no time. My mom drops us off then goes wherever she goes and Missy and I stay up half the night talking. We laugh forever about the out of date stone washed jeans and the drunks. She asks about a boy and I tell her his story. I make it up on the spot but Missy's no lie detector so she doesn't notice when I tell her how I lost my virginity to him. I tell her about how I walked into his room and he was naked and PING his dick popped up and I fucked him right then and there. Her mouth gapes. She says she hopes it's special when she does it and can't believe I did that. She's so freakin pure all the time. So I take it a little further.
Tell her about how his dad was there too except how I didn't know it. How he cornered me later and how I almost had sex with him. I can tell she's uncomfortable so I zing her right then with how that's who my mom's out with right now. She wants to call her parents but I won't let her. She falls asleep in the bed next to me, stiff and afraid, and I roll over satisfied with the way I've educated her.
After that, I'm allowed at Missy's but she's not allowed at my house. I don't even bother to shame her for telling her parents. I just go back to my usual friends whose parents don't notice what we do after school.