Where do we begin?
I went to bed early last night to catch up on my sleep. I was very tired and forgot to take my night time medications. Nothing I can do about that now. I had strange dreams starting again this morning after Sue got up. Very clear and they seemed long. Most had to do with returning to places I'd been before. In one dream I was back with old friends and we were trying to sing a song in harmony but we couldn't find a pen and paper to write down the words. In another, I was at some sort of carnival deal but the ride seemed to lose the keys to my car or maybe it was my whole car. There was something about losing all my identification as well and that caused a great deal of trouble. The repetition was the most confusing thing about the place. We kept going through the same things over and over.
During the great confusion there seemed to be some hope that it was going to get straightened out and we would all be able to leave and go home. Even when I think about it now large sections of the dream will flash across my mind, so quickly, so fleetingly that my attention turns to it only after it's moved past me and I've lost any chance to examine it closely.
Part of it took place outside but the light was such that I couldn't tell whether it was daytime or whether there were large lights high above me. It was not direct sunshine but some thing more like the lights on high poles that flood the area with light but cast ill-defined shadows because of the number of the light sources.
There were tent structures or at least the edges of tents with canvas walls loosely arranged so that after a couple turns you might feel lost even though you were never far from your starting place if you could see a straight line. It was a system of deceitful divisions and illusions of containment that continued and flowed into the deceit and lies of the things taking place there. A carnival is a perfect setting for the stories of that kind. The entirety of the layout is conceived and built for purposes of misdirection and confusion. It is false in every way and people go there expecting that result. Even during the daytime, even though it is less alarming, it still carries the dreamlike sense of impermanence. Walls and ceilings that aren't really there. The appearance of a community that has no settlement. Instead of staying in one place to put down roots, to weather the storms, to stay and survive no matter what it takes, it moves like a weather system. It is the storm that other places weather.
The carnival is a place that appeals to the youth. It contains forbidden and dangerous things and people. You go there and pay your money and do things that carry a rough mixture false and real risk. Games that are fixed so that the only winner are the ghosts that run them, and side tents with shows that shock and amaze and cannot be unseen.
Carnivals are places that change people and never for the better. No one leaves a carnival with more than they arrived with. You trade your hard-earned money for insubstantial pieces of fluff and knowledge that could well have waited for another day.
The only difference between my dream and the carnival is that I was the ghost running the games in my dreams.