Coaster Friday November 3, 2006, 0 comments

You waited in line. You waited and waited and waited. Sometimes it hurt, and sometimes you found people to spend the time with, but mostly you spent it alone, wondering if this was all there was. And eventually you saw there was more.

Just as the sweaty foam of the safety bar is lowered over your head and pressed against the shoulders, screams from far away percolate through the hush of the crowd to your ears and you wonder to yourself: what am I doing here?

As the thought surfaces from the turbulent pool of your mind, the whole train lurches forward. The back of your head gently taps the headrest behind, and your heart rate increases. Anticipation wraps its fingers around your stomach.

You look forward, and see the track rise so steeply up and out of sight. The clack-clack-clack of the elevation chain under the train rattles up through your spine, and again, you ask yourself what you’re doing here.

You knew everyone else thought it was a bad idea, but you knew, in your heart and your mind that it was right, you couldn’t help yourself, and now you’re strapped in, locked down as the thumping of the chain and the thumping of your heart accompany your rise.

The cars in front of you disappear over the edge, and suddenly, silently, your insides rise and your breath is pressed out of you. The exhilaration stuns you – it is so deep and so powerful. This was why you couldn’t say no, why you couldn’t help yourself. Who could?

Because there’s nothing else in the world quite like it. And as you look down, breathless and alive and finally fully completely yourself, you finally see that this ride will never end, that the ups and downs are finally over and all that’s left is the joy.


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