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The ferris wheel and other rides are in the parking lot behind the Adams Mark Hotel. This is about the third or fourth chain hotel to remodel the place and the construction crew's fence is still in place. I tell you they should have a permanent fence. You tell me you would rather not see any more barriers. I wonder if we are talking about the same thing.

The ferris wheel is at the other end of the parking lot. It is hard to reach.

We have to pass the snakey lines reaching up to the funhouse--a teenaged girl in purple-streaked hair jumps in front of us, holds out a sticky wand of cotton candy and says "gimme ten dollars and I'll let you pass." Her boyfriend next to her pulls her back on a copper-studded collar. She turns toward him, her head strained from the collar, and sticks her tongue out. We wonder that she doesn't choke, but neither of us says anything. They both turn away to study the funhouse's peeling paint image of a fat lady dancing with a sword swallower on top of an elephant. He holds her close.

We go around them and see the sign at the ferris wheel--tickets only. No cash. We dodge a unicycle and juggling pins, skirt a family dressed alike in white tee shirts and khaki army pants, and find the line for the tickets.

You reach for my hand as we get to the end of the line. I press into your fingers.

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