Wednesday, September 26, 2012

carnival rides

There are times really late at night when I’m driving down the road, headlights bouncing off the tarred freeway, night engulfing my car, and I have the urge to press on the gas pedal as if my shoes are full of rocks. I want to go fast; to roll down all my windows and feel the wind on my face, in my hair, sucking down my throat and filling my lungs. I wonder, how fast do you think I can go? I want to feel like I’m on a rollercoaster; maybe like Space Mountain, sitting in the dark, eyes shut, hands up, screaming with joy, not pain, feeling the darkness and the wind swallow me whole. Can I go as fast as Space Mountain? I want to see the stars go by, turn after turn, hill after hill. I want to see the streetlights fly by, so fast they look like one long streak of yellow and white. I want to go faster than any of those roller coasters go, faster than a NASCAR driver. I want my speedometer to reach its capacity and start vibrating because it can’t go any farther. What would happen if I slammed my foot on the gas? I want to wonder if I will go so fast that my car will spin out of control like one of those scrambler rides at the carnivals.
I’ll wonder while I’m spinning if I will think I’m dying; if I will think that this is the last moment of my life and try to see my life flash like they always say it does. I wonder if your life really does flash before your eyes – if I’ll see myself as a baby, as a child, as a teenager, as an adult, and I wonder what I’d see. I wonder if I’d see my mom and dad and my sisters and grandparents and my best friends. I wonder if I’d see elementary school parades, senior prom, college graduation, my niece’s birth. I wonder if I would see you.

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