There is very little more sad and hollow in the whole world than an amusement park in the off-season. The entirety of 2020 has been off-season for amusement parks and everything else. There is so much missing. The chatter and laughter of people, the carnival music and bells and whistles of the games and the motors of the machines and generators; all absent. It leaves and expanse of emptiness that feels like abandonment. There were few people on the boardwalk, even for early November. There was no joy, but merely existing there and moving from one place to another. A few men were fishing on the pier and catching nothing but that didn’t seem to be the purpose. It was more of a routine that they haven’t yet and may never let go of. It was a sort of tragic pantomime. Or some kind of a rite — if we keep doing this like nothing has happened then things may go back to being as they were. Like a prayer from people who no longer know who they’re praying to.

There was little joy but not a small amount of quiet anxiety. The quiet kind is often the worst kind of all. You can’t fight it. It’s like shadow boxing. Each jab ends in the air moved by the gesture.

I’ve covered countless miles over these last several months. Every neighborhood and every street is the same. People are going through the motions with the same sense of desperation. If only we just… if only we just.

What’s in it for me? I have no destination. I have no goal except for the movement. I suffer under no delusions that things will ever be the the way they were. The way they were wasn’t really working for anyone anyway. I remain non-essential personnel in every sense of the term. There is freedom in that. I’m just wandering around recording my time in this way or that. One day, perhaps sooner than later, I will not be here and there will be this silly history of words and symbols and images. Should anyone bother to go back and peruse it they will probably be perplexed.

I’m at peace with that notion. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to explain and make an accounting of my time here, and come out on this end no longer caring if anyone understands. There isn’t even anything to understand! What am I doing? I’m just walking around looking at things.

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