There are many points in my life when I was a child that I almost felt like a tiny leaf pushed around by the force winds my parents created. At least that is the sense I get from my vague memories. You are told in a few words where you are going, but then those words do not make complete sense. And so you just end up places. And in the future when you are wondering where the hell you were it is hard to piece together a picture or enough descriptions to try and get an answer out of the adults who took you there.
I think it was a company picnic of sorts, but all I knew that the ride was long and unfamiliar. The parking was a lot of grass, and I got the sense that parking there was wrong as the tires slipped slightly across the relatively smooth surface.
I remember crowds of people and kids around my age of 6 or so. There were ponies fenced in and made to walk in circles with their tiny passengers on their backs. There were inflatable structures in which kids slipped out of their shoes and shimmied into the opening in the mesh. And they proceeded to bounce wildly. Some cracking heads against one another. Loud wails and rushing mothers were the result.
Under the warm sun we sat at weathered grey picnic tables. I gingerly sat on the splintered looking bench. From there I could see the building in which the food was being prepared. The building was grey and weathered like the benches. Battered screen windows showed the shabby interior. And creaky screened doors clacked open and shut as people moved in and out. All I remember of the food were the yellow ears of steaming corn.
Before we left I got a mermaid painted on my bicep. After the long trip home I vividly recall that the paint was already starting to peel from my arm. And I absently picked at the curling edges.