Yesterday I took Bee to see the last installment of the Harry Potter movies, and was thinking about how exhilarated the series makes me feel. Putting it in words is a difficult thing, because the sensation is almost overwhelming, to the point of a blank. It's like being jettisoned to a place where everyone keeps their smiles twice as long.
Little things take me back to that feeling of being a kid, wild and free, things like sharing an ice cream cone with a loved one, splashing in puddles in the rain, but those moments are fleeting. With a feature film, you're in it for a few hours, at least, and with a series like Harry Potter, the feeling can permeate your soul even longer.
When I was a kid, there was a local amusement park here in El Paso called Western Playland. We looked forward to going there all year long, as it was only open for the summer season. It was the one place our parents would allow us to run wild and free.
In the last decade, they have relocated to a different, more expansive plot of desert land on the outskirts of town, but it's just not the same. It used to be in the heart of the city, in an area called Ascarate Park, and it was amazing! It was cozy. The trees were old, but provided shade. The rides were close together, so at night the lights lit the place up like magic. The smells of popcorn and churros oxygenated the bloodstream, warding of bedtime until midnight, at least.
When I go around town, on my little photo-taking adventures, often times I am pulled towards this old area of town. I started thinking about our 'Roid Week coming up about a month ago, and I was surprised to see a carnival going up in the same place our old Western Playland used to be. I had my Polaroid 340 camera with me, loaded with Choco80 pack film-a very special, extinct film that I had been saving for a special occasion.
Since Bee had a broken arm at the time, we couldn't go to the carnival, but maybe now, if it's still there, we can make it.