Friday, November 16, 2012

After the loss I went to the merry-go-round with the wife and kid. The one by the water, under the bridge. During the hurricane, pictures of it had appeared on social media: the ocean churned against the glass box that enclosed it, waves climbing ever higher, while inside the lights were on, illuminating the empty painted horses in suspended animation.

There was little sign that anything had been wrong. The air outside was briny—everywhere we walked had days ago been underwater. But everything was clean. Normal. Three trash cans sat in a neat row along the paved path: garbage, paper, glass.

As we rode, we observed attendants dismantling a child’s birthday party at the corner of the space. A stack of empty pizza boxes. A cross-sected cake. Favors abandoned on chairs and the tissue-papered table. Sara asked me how much I thought it cost.

“Six hundred dollars?” I said after a moment.

In another corner a photo shoot appeared to be taking place, featuring a handsome, rich, young couple. They clasped hands and faced each other as the photographer contorted himself on the ground before them, straining to frame their heads and the cresting of the carousel.

Jackie’s heart didn’t really seem to be in it so we left after a couple more rides. But she insisted on walking.