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  • Everything was holding its breath inside of me.

    I was at the Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. This was the first time I was here. In fact, this was the first time I was in Chicago. There was a lot happening around me; small stalls selling colorful scarves and handicrafts, people lining up outside the amusement rides, seagulls impatiently waiting for the last piece of bread in your hand, little kids waving back to their parents as they rode on the carousel -- I've always wondered, why do little kids wave when they're on these rides? And why do we wave back?

    I walked through the surrounding hullaballoo without actually being a part of it. Just being there felt peaceful and happy, like when you come across a really vivid and beautiful photo in a magazine and it makes you happy just looking at it. Later, months after I came back from the trip, of all the things I missed and remembered, it was the flying carousel that I thought of the most (though I didn't know what it was called back then, I just described it as the flying swings).

    I would close my eyes and still remember the scene; my friends and other strangers clutching on the silver chains of their swings, and then they were flying -- slowly, at first, just going around in circles and then it gathered momentum and suddenly they were all screaming, some had their eyes closed, the brave ones waving at the people down below, the braver ones letting go off the chains and flaying their arms around, they kept swinging and flying until they looked like a flock of colorful birds circling the sky.

    I didn't feel very brave looking at them though, but I was fascinated. Everything was holding its breath inside of me until the ride was over, though I wasn't on it, but it felt wonderful watching people fly in the windy city.
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