Maybe Next Time

I never liked roller coasters that much. Anymore, I’m too old to ride them without fear of a heart attack, even though I know the odds are pretty good, the ride will come to a safe end. The structure supporting the rails will hold, the coaster cars won’t fly off the track, and the steel bar fitting snugly across my lap won’t suddenly give.

Nonetheless, I recall that sick sensation when the coaster goes over the cliff, and for a moment, you’re weightless, terrified, traveling downward, exiled from the law of gravity. Then you reach the bottom, and the coaster rises again.

The exhilaration comes afterwards, when you are walking away with a memory of fear out maneuvered. Then the ride is history. The next time you buy a ticket, you are not so anxious, knowing the fear will pass and the exhilaration will come.