Saturday, April 16, 2011

“On Top Of The World”

My favorite ride is the roller coaster. Not the new versions they have at eh big, corporate theme parks, but the old rickety wooden one they have here at the Carnival. It’s called Mount Everest, and it boasts the highest peak of any roller coaster in the United States. Maybe the world. It’s a real classic. What I love about it isn’t the breakneck speeds it reaches, or even the triple loop. What attracts me is that first climb to the top. The rise before the fall. There’s a thrill of anticipation as the car clickedy- clacks its way up, the rails moaning and groaning with tension. Then you reach the top, and for a moment it seems like you can see the whole world. You hang there, suspended above the carnival, before plummeting back down again.
As much as I love it, I have to wonder if each ride will be my last. Everest is 42 years old and sure to go at any time. But maybe that’s the real thrill of the ride, the risk.


  1. This post calls up a memory of a rickety roller coaster from my childhood, which was in the 1940s at the Great Salt lake. The place was called Saltair. By then, it was too unsteady, and so I never rode it. I remember, though, another roller coaster at Lagoon, also in Utah, that I did ride. I wouldn't want to now! That first drop scared the begeebers out of me even then.

    Will each ride be the last? But still we take the ride; take the risk. That IS the thrill of the ride, and of life.

    This feels like a poem, imagistic and reflective. I like it very much!

  2. Hopping on over from the A-Z Challenge. You're right. There's nothing like that first ascent towards, right before the plunge. I could just close my eyes and see myself dangling at the edge of risk, based solely on how you described them. Good stuff.

  3. The new ones are made of steel & are safe & boring. The wooden ones are much more fun!

  4. That moment at the top before the plunge is an awesome moment when time and the world seem to stop and we wait and ponder our fate. You captured that moment well. The wooden roller coasters are the scariest.

    Tossing It Out