I went to the carnival because I knew I was supposed to. It was a social activity. Ride the rides. Spend time with peers in the same age bracket. I’d shown up alone. Like always. Called everyone I knew. They were all busy. Like always.
I rode a few of the rides. My hair blowing in the wind. My guts moving from gravitational and centripetal forces. The world spinning in circles. Colors all blur into a chaotic rainbow. Sensory overload always made me feel alive. Let me escape my isolation. If only for a little while.
I watched people, with a deepening intent to learn how they behaved. I was broken. Something in me was broken. Thought if I studied enough people, I could figure out what. And fix it. So I wouldn’t have to feel the ache of loneliness and isolation that I knew was my fault.