Pulling the faded photo album from the bookcase, I sat in the overstuffed chair near the window and began leafing through photographs of a 30 year old me on my first European journey.
Spotting an 8x10 black and white enlargement I’d done in a borrowed darkroom after the trip, I paused to recapture the memory of that particular moment when I was one of 20 passengers in the uppermost car of an enormous Ferris wheel in Vienna during the summer of 1981.
We had found it by accident sitting on the bus, getting on and off whenever something caught our eye. The print captured images of tiny people on the ground , and faces peering out of the other cars on the wheel that were closer to the ground, each filled with at least 20 people. Wow how many cars are there on this thing? There must have been over 100 people riding at one time.
That was a long time ago, when I didn’t really worry that much about spending every penny in my accounts because I had a job to return to, and I was young and single and had very few responsibilities. No rent to pay (yet) no bills, just spending money for trips and nights out with friends.
Time to get back to the job search I thought, and put the album back on the shelf. I reached out to pick up the paper but decided to procrastinate a few more minutes by looking at the stuff for sale in the Pennysaver.
Rooms for rent, roommates wanted. I leafed through the flimsy newsprint searching for the private sale ads. There it is! I thought and scanned the columns looking first at those with bold headlines.
Work from home- the 12 letters leapt out from a right facing page, and sucked me into the ad. Captivate your neighborhood- for sale second hand three car Ferris wheel with reconditioned motor, new locks, and a fresh coat of red paint.
Wow, is this a sign? Calm down and think this through. Am I crazy? Could I do this? How many tickets would I have to sell to make the mortgage payment and pay for private school for the kids? Would I have to declare the income to unemployment or the IRS or could I get away with doing it on the side?
Will it be noisy and irritate the neighbors? Do I have to have a city business license? Will I have to report the income to the state and feds? Will my homeowners insurance cover the liability if someone gets hurt? What will I do if it breaks down? What if the neighborhood kids fool with it when I’m not home?