St. Stanislaus Kostka Carnival

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The ferris wheel was at the back of the carnival, by the expressway. There was nobody nearby. It was deserted. Out of nowhere, a figured approached. “My brother runs the wheel,” said the man with a sheepish grin, showing missing teeth. “They don’t give us any breaks, so you got to take what you can get.”

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We took that to mean we should hang out until he returned. A few minutes went by, and the carny ambled towards us from the parking lot. As he let us into the ferris wheel car, I noticed his hands were filthy jet black from grease. We were the only two on the ride. I’m thinking, “What is going on here? Why are his hands so dirty? Is he constantly fixing the ferris wheel? What about equal distribution of weight?”

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The death wheel squealed and groaned as it carried our car up and down through each revolution. Despite the knowledge that it had been licked clean by the tongues of little children all weekend, I gripped the center pole with white knuckles. For the rest of the night, I felt nauseous from the ride, the fried oreos, the bad vanilla soft serve on a stale cone, with a hole filled in with chocolate sauce. I had really lived.

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