(click for more text)
I hold your hand tightly as the car rides up slowly. I
have always been terrified of heights, of machines moving.
You know a bit about this, and you do not rock the car. The
pitting terror in my stomach is something I only remember
when I am in the car, when it is too late to turn back.
We listen to a little boy in an animaniac's hat thump his
sneakers on the baseboard four cars ahead of us. I wanna
get off, he wails. The mother gives him a balloon with
alien eyes. Look at this, she says. Aliens aren't afraid
of anything. I'm not an alien, he wails back. And I want
The ride starts in earnest, and I stare at the blue painted
wicker of the car's back in front of us. Was she
frightened, too, that first time, I wonder.
When I was seven years old, my father took me on the roller coaster
four times in a row. We are going until you aren't afraid anymore, he
told me. And suddenly, on the fourth ride, the mind numbing terror,
the conviction that at any moment I was going to enter a horribly long
and painful death was replaced by sheer, enforced
I draw on that calm now, and smile at you.
I want you to have this secret part of me, but later. Not
This is lovely, I say.
Look at how much you can see.