Monday, August 21, 2006

Sorry, I'm a bit hoarse

The weekend started off nicely. Got out of work early on Friday night. Rode home. Worked on a few paintings. Watched a little bit of the first Lord of the Rings, went to bed.

Saturday got up, went down to the beach alone and read for a while. I'm now in the second chapter of A People's History of the United States. It was a nice leisurely read that was kind of tainted by the disturbing subject matter.

Took off and headed to Newton to pick up my van because I had to go grab an old sofa in Plymouth for the the saloon..

Then I went to bed relatively early on a Saturday because I had to be up at 7:00 to meet my uncle, drive into Southie and catch a bus to Six Flags. He got some deal through his work and we had a nice Griswold-esque family trip with cousins and siblings and whatnot.

Now a little back history here. My uncle Joe was barely in his 20's back in 1984. Some time that year he took me to Paragon Park, a now-defunct amusement park in Hull, MA. He put me on a roller coaster. Actually it was a kiddie roller coaster. Actually it was more like an oval track with a couple bumps in it. It was nothing. But I flipped out. Cried my wussy eyes out and the operator actually stopped the ride.

So for about 15 years or so, I was too much of a pussy to go on any rollercoasters. My family would go to amusement parks and my poor friends who'd tag along would spend the day either watching me sulk and ride lame rides, or would ride all sorts of crazy shit with my mom, who loves ridiculous roller coasters.

Then my mother somehow coaxed me onto the Vortex. A stand-up rollercoaster at Carowinds in SC. That sort of broke the curse and I'd ride one every once in a while.

Yesterday morning I woke up and the asscrack of dawn to see a monsoon outside my window. Things didn't look good for the Six Flags trip. I didn't want to bail on uncle Joe however, he told me the night before that his kids both bailed on him.

We met up and drove out to meet the bus. It was raining all the way. The trip was pretty quick, less than two hours, but it was spitting rain and gray the entire time.

We finally got there and got off the bus. Still kind of shitty out. No heavy rain though. Then, as we walked towards the park, a 100-piece women's choir sang a note and the clouds parted. It was glorious.

The day was filled with short lines, bearable heat (I wore jeans like an idiot) and free food and drinks.

Redemption. 22 years in the making. It was time for a baptism of sorts. Uncle Joe and I rode the Superman coaster. First hill... a 221 ft drop. He maintains he saw me welling up after the first few hills. I just couldn't get my damn eyes shut because of the g-force. The second time I rode it it felt like the time I drove a motorcycle with no eyewear. Tears streaming back to my temples.

Who knows. Maybe it was just the g-force, or maybe it was the 4 year old in me exercising his rollercoaster demons. You rule, Uncle Joe.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jenny said...

I have a history of ruining family vacations/trips to amusement parks because I will not go on rollercoasters or most rides. I don't like them.

Apparently my dad hit his limit with me when I was ten. We were at Kings Dominion in Virginia, and I refused to go an any rides. AT ALL. So finally my dad physically lifted me (I was kicking and screaming), walked me up the biggest flight of stairs to some ridiculously high slide. Like just a drop from out of the sky.

He put me down at the top, looked into my eyes, and in his best Marines voice said "Don't even think about trying to walk down."

He then sat me on the slide and and pushed. I think I may have had a small heart attack that day. Hyperventilated for the next hour. Wouldn't talk to him for the next 24.

It didn't work. I still dont like 'em.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous lizzy d. said...

didn't an "over weight" and mentally handicapped" guy die on that ride a couple of years ago?

6:09 PM  

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