wheel of fortune

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you couldn't stop riding the ferris wheel. it was a grey san francisco day, when the bay waits for the fog. the fog just lingers above, muting the day. around and around, let the metal creak and groan, carrying you up and down.


as a child, it was your favorite ride. you could see over the whole city for once. it was thrilling, the height, but you always knew you would return to the ground. slowly and surely, you'd go around again.  poor parents, they had to ride it so many damn times. but they loved you, and it was easier than chasing a child through the carnival.


as you grew older you found new uses for the ferris wheel. you'd bring boys with you to the carnival. and at the end of a night of cotton candy and flirting, you'd go for a ride, making out under the stars. it was perfect: just enough privacy for heavy petting, but still within bright lights.


you were eager, but you didn't want to go all the way. and the wheel benefited you: no guy wants to be caught with his pants down, the ferris wheel was safer (and cleaner) than going anywhere else to make out. 


eventually you left san francisco. went to college, graduated with honors, found a job down in LA. The sunshine went on forever, and so did the heat. you were a young working woman. you no longer needed ferris wheels to keep you safe. the world was ahead of you, an endless line of opportunity. life moves forward, and the past is gone with each sunset. 


until the past comes back again. and all the things you wished to leave behind, well they're on your front doorstep. let us in, acknowledge us, or we'll tell the neighbors. 


until death calls you home. like ghosts, it murmurs through the phone about a car accident. the people who have been there from the beginning have vanished in the blink of an eye. the phone falls and you try to sit down, but nothing feels stable. like the world is swirling around you, creaking and rickety. 


so here you are, the land of the bay. you're once more wearing jackets in the summertime, and fog fills the mornings. you wish the sun would return, even if your bones would still feel cold.


the funeral has come and gone. a blur of decisions past by your eyes. atleast they had money set aside for this. at least that, the jackals say with hungry mouths for sentences with wills and inheritence in it. there's too much grief for pain towards them. you're overwhelmed by the word orphan, hovering through your mind. orphan, we're all supposed to be orphaned someday. atleast you grew up. atleast they loved you. atleast, atleast. 


but your hands are still full of moist earth. the moment you hesitated. you wanted to wail and scream at the god or gods who were silent. they paid their bills and kept their mouths free of gossip. they provided you a life that was good, and loved you even when you scrapped your knees and fell below their standards. even when you forgot to write or call, they loved you. but even that is gone now. 


you can't bear to be in the house. it's full of their echoes. the seat where dad always sat and read the newspaper in the mornings. where your mother would dry her hair in the bathroom. the portraits of the dead, smiling. so blissfully unaware that this was their last year, their last portrait to give out at Christmas. you just can't be there, not yet. 


for some reason, you find yourself on the ferris wheel again. find the turning up and down, up and down reassuring. perhaps life isn't a straight unending line. perhaps it's a circle, a cycle. right now, you're on the bottom again. but slowly and surely, you'll see the skyline view. the lights of the city will fill the night. and maybe, just maybe, it'll be alright. 

Created: Mar 23, 2014

Tags: time, fortune, family, life, wheel of fortune, death, ferris wheel, san francisco, cycles, remix, fiction, story, prose

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