The Girl with the Farrah Fawcett Hair

by Rosaleen Lynch


Giant teacups skitter as they turn, with sun faded paintings of Brian the snail, Ermintrude and Dougal, waltzing across the metal turntable floor, loose with age, and the tilt, like they’ll spin you off at a turn, though it’s slow, so you stumble through humidity to your cup, thighs chaffing with sweat under your dress, the fairground hand, with the oil stained rag, says to hurry, he’s going speed up, hurry, find the opening, hurry, slide in, and you slip on nylon along the hard plastic, until your skin catches, and lifting your thigh, you peel it off like a slug from the barbecue that’s never used, and you hold your breath in the shade, when you enter the cloud of burning black rubber, as it speeds up and spins, and spins, and spins, and your thigh skin cools as you spin, and you wish you used petroleum jelly like your Mam said, and you spin, and you wish you’d worn shorts, and you spin, and you wish you could open your legs to the air, and you turn, again and again and again, as he moves across the revolving moon’s surface and spins this girl with Farrah Fawcett hair, who in passing and hair flowing, shouted at him across the fence, that teacups were for kids and he shuffled sidewards to stand still, saying, not how he does them, that kids were too scared, and he spins her again, and every time her eye-line meets yours, when she twists round the turn and rebounds, to catch you as you sway into the curve, she looks to be thirteen like you, but her Mam lets her wear eyeliner and mascara, and lip gloss round her mouth glistening like a snail’s trail, sparkling when she laughs, when she sucks in gasps, when she screams and he spins harder and faster, and though you want him to spin you like he does her, you hold on clammy-palmed to the round metal handle for four, the tension of revolution pulling you apart at your wrists, your arms, your shoulders, your neck, until spent, hair wet at the neck, you let your head rest, eyes closed, on the back, and when the ride starts to slow, and the gearbox screeches and grinds, the fairground hand says to hurry, and you let shaky legs take you across metal reflections of the moon, hurry, mirroring light and shadow up your dress, hurry, thigh skin sticking as you come off the turntable, hurry, to sit on the step to catch your breath, as the ride starts to speed up again, and you let the damp skirt of your dress dip between your legs, and beside you is the congealing shine of a trail, leading up to or away from a beer can caught half-crushed in the step, and you remember when Mam said how beer drew pests and when Da lied and said she meant creatures like cockroaches and slugs, and when it’s time to go home for your tea, it’s only now you can hear the Wurlitzer music, as you take one last look at the girl with the Farrah Fawcett hair, the girl with the Farrah Fawcett hair, the girl with the Farrah Fawcett hair.


Rosaleen Lynch, an Irish community worker and writer in the East End of London with words in lots of lovely places and can be found on Twitter @quotes_52 and


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