American Snaps #3: Almond Blossom Fair

by awindram

“The scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

There are no almond blossoms at the Almond Blossom Fair. The fair ground is noticeably dry and the few trees growing on it are bare. Taking the back roads home you see the blossoms; at the fair you see men in cowboy hats as white as almond blossoms chow down on hot dogs and funnel cakes.

A band, hidden away in the least accessible corner of the fair, plays old rock covers. They are fighting against a strong wind which muffles their version of Honky Tonk Women. That song sounds so right here, as if it grew out of this arid soil like the almond trees you’ll later see out of the car; you forget that it is a song written by a group who formed one wet evening at Dartford railway station. You’re a long way from Dartford.

She tried to take me upstairs for a ride.
She had to heave me right across her shoulder
‘Cause I just can’t seem to drink you off my mind.
It’s the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

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