I had a strong compulsion to return to Coney Island for a while– to see the rides at Luna Park at dusk, to walk along the boardwalk during sunset. There was something about the neon lights and bright rides that invoked in me a certain kind of longing, as if I had a fond childhood memory there I am trying to bring back to life. Except that I’ve only been to Coney Island as a tourist, in my adulthood, so I found this strong nostalgia out of place.
If I were to analyse it, maybe this is one of the reasons: a day out in a wonderland like Coney Island signifies a celluloid-screen childhood outing, and maybe deep down inside I crave a picture-perfect wonderland experience with someone. Maybe that is what that longing actually is, and Coney Island just happened to fit into the spot between cultural influence and expectation.
It’s funny, because I am someone who is used to my own company; and dare I say, assured in it, preferred it, that I hardly ever feel lonely. When I am with people, I feel that I have to be ‘on’, that I must engage, that I am constantly thinking and thinking. When I am alone, I do not leave impressions, there’s no observer, I’m in that quantum state of anonymity, and it is liberating.
Yet there are days I do get lonely. And as I grow older, I find that those days occur more frequently. Sometimes I want to be amongst people, share experiences, share a joke, communicate. Yet even as I recognise these wants, there’s a part of me that thinks: this is a vulnerability. It is a Flaw to not be self reliant.
I guess the sum of it is that I am still very much an island, but I feel, I want, more visitors now.
Please enjoy these photos of Coney Island. I am very much an amateur photographer, so the light flares are horrid, do forgive any technical and artistic flaws.