And the music came back with the carnival, the music you’ve heard as far back as you can remember, ever since you were little, that’s always playing somewhere, in some corner of the city, in little country towns, wherever poor people go and sit at the end of the week to figure out what’s become of them, sometimes here, sometimes there, from season to season, it tinkles and grinds out the tunes that rich people danced to the year before. It’s the mechanical music that floats down from the wooden horses, from the cars that aren’t cars anymore, from the railways that aren’t at all scenic, from the platform under the wrestler who hasn’t any muscles and doesn’t come from Marseille, from the beardless lady, the magician who’s a butter-fingered jerk, the organ that’s not made of gold, the shooting gallery with the empty eggs. It’s the carnival made to delude the weekend crowd.
We go in and drink the beer with no head on it. But under the cardboard trees the stink of the waiter’s breath is real. And the change he gives you has several peculiar coins in it, so peculiar that you go on examining them for weeks and weeks and finally, with considerable difficulty, palm them off on some beggar. What do you expect at the carnival? Gotta have what fun you can between hunger and jail, and take things as they come.