Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma

Life is Like a Merry Go Round

When I say that life is like a Merry Go Round, it may seem like a stretch, but bear with me. The earth spins and we each inhabit our little space upon it. We can move to another space, another seat that happens to be empty. A few of us can even hop off for a time, standing outside the Merry Go Round and looking upon it from, say, the moon or the space station, but we always come back to it.

We sit astride our horse or unicorn or lion or elephant, whichever one appeals to us, unless the one we want is taken, in which case we have to ride the donkey or the camel that’s missing part of its face. If we’re bullies, we might kick someone off the horse we wish to ride, making them sit on the floor or go back to another horse that doesn’t offer as much fun.

We don’t choose where we start on the Merry Go Round. That place is determined by our parents, who live in one particular section, on one particular horse. Most of us don’t get to ride the unicorn. That’s reserved for the few at the top, the ones who got there early and saved the spot, the ones whose parents made sure they had the advantages the rest of us didn’t get.

Some of us get in line early, our parents’ wealth allowing us to move to the front, where there’s less competition for the good seats. And some of us work hard, sprinting to our horses when the gate is lifted, determined to find the best place from which to look out at the passing world.

Once we’re on, we fly. We spin. Everything goes by so quickly. And we only go in one direction, forward in time. Sure you can go backward for a little while, flying west as fast as you can for as long as you can, but eventually you have to land, and then you move forward again, spinning into the future.

Most of us wish it would go on forever, that we could stay on our horse or get off and move to another horse, but keep spinning for a long, long time. We never want it to end because we don’t know if this is the last ride we’ll ever take or if there will be other opportunities.

Our parents/teachers promise we can do it again, but sometimes they lie so we don’t always trust them. We cling to the horse, some of us, peeled away kicking and screaming because we want to remain on this delightful apparatus.

Finally we exit the ride, sometimes of our own accord, but more often because the music stops, the spinning slows to zero and we must leave even though we’re not ready to depart. But others must have their turn; we can’t stay here forever and keep them from enjoying the experience we had.

Is there another ride? The Tilt A Whirl or the Roller Coaster or some other exciting/scary venture? That’s something we can’t know until we get off the Merry Go Round.

book 1 in the Susquehanna Virus series

book 1 in the Susquehanna Virus series

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