September 26, 2011

The Wonder(ous) Wheel

Filed under: Site Creative,Site Observations — samueljenk @ 3:01 pm  Tagged

August 23rd was the day.  The day I finally had the courage to do it. My name is Dennis Karishnakov and I am 12 years old.  I live in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, at 1401 Surf Avenue, Apartment 4A with my grandmother, parents, sister and brother.  I go to school at IS 139 where I am in Mrs. Lewis’s homeroom.  In my free time I play the violin and do my homework.  My whole world was Coney Island and that day, August 23rd, is when it all changed.

It started like every other Sunday in the Karishnakov house did.  Everyone gathered around the table for the weekly family breakfast of soft boiled eggs, toast and tea.  While everyone else was enjoying the feast, I could barely touch my food, I was too excited. “Nu, Dennis is there something bothering you? You barely touched your eggs” my father asked. “No,” I said, “I am fine, just not hungry this morning”.  Breakfast finally ended and not a second too soon.  After breakfast everyone retreated into their corners of their house.  Grandma went to her room to watch the latest Russian soap opera, mom and dad to the porch to smoke their cigarettes, my sister and brother to their rooms to do their homework and play their respective instruments.  I knew this was the time, so I put a couple of dollars that I’ve been saving for this trip in my pocket, quietly slipped out the front door, and started walking towards the boardwalk.

When I finally got to the boardwalk, there was an all out attack on my senses.  I could smell the corndogs being fried, I saw all the flashing lights of Astro-Land Luna Park, I heard all the carnies asking me to play their games of chance, I could feel and taste the saltiness of the sea water.  I never felt this alive in my life.  With the various distractions going on around me I knew I couldn’t stop, I was here for a reason. I was motivated to get where I needed to go. Finally, I found what I was looking for, the ticket booth to the one and only Wonder Wheel.

I took my place on line and waited, every few minutes taking a few steps towards my future.  I finally was next, “How old are you, son?” the booth operater asked. “12” I answered.  “Your too young, next.” I couldn’t help myself, I just started to cry, all my dreams, all the planning were just gone. “Aw, cmon kid, alright alright I’ll let you on, just stop crying, you’re driving away the rest of the customers.” Just like that I felt alive again, I was going to do it.

I sat on the wonderfully uncomfortable metal bench, waiting for the ride to start.  Suddenly I felt the first jolt of the ride, as I was slowly rising, the world I’ve never seen, came into my view.  There was a fabulous looking park I’ve never even been to right past my apartment building. I could see bridges way out in the distance. I could see Manhattan and all of its tall buildings and I thought of how great it must be to live on the top floor and see the all of the world beneath you. I could see out on the ocean for miles, and suddenly I wanted to sail the world.  How much more was out there, I wondered. I now knew there was more to the world than just Brighton Beach and I needed to get out and see it all.

That day changed my life.  I always heard about the world and all the wonderful countries in school, but seeing them was always and unobtainable fantasy.  After riding the wonder wheel, after seeing past my small neighborhood and out into the world, I knew that while I may not see everything in the world, I would do my best to see as much of it as I could.

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