Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Writing Wednesday: Never Eighteen
The following scene is Austin trying to conquer his fear of heights by riding the Extreme Scream at the Puyallup Fair.
The countdown begins . . . ten, nine, eight . . . Kaylee lets go of my hand and grabs on to her harness. I give her my best “What the hell?” look and she giggles. Seven, six, five . . .I’m now aware of the need to hold on for dear life, so I too grab my harness with a death grip . . . four, three, two . . . I close my eyes, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in. One . . .we shoot up the tower at what feels like the speed of light. I feel helpless, dangling, with no control of my limbs. Just as I thought, I scream like a little girl, flailing, and praying to
God I don’t piss my pants.
The ride stops as suddenly as it started, at the top of the tower. I open my eyes, take in the view of the fairgrounds below me, trying desperately not to freak out. When we plunge back down, my stomach drops to my knees and my mouth goes dry. Up and down again, up and down, slowing with each phase, until the ride finally ends and we are safely back on the earth. I’m finally able to let out my breath. I want to lie face- down and hug the ground, thank it for being so solid, and still. When my feet hit the earth, my knees buckle and I nearly collapse. Kaylee and one of the attendants grab me and hold me up.
“You okay, man?” the attendant asks. He looks just like a fair attendant should, big, bald, missing some teeth, a clichéd tattoo on his gigantic bicep— MOM in a red heart. I’m sure if he were to bend over, we’d get a view of his butt crack as well. He reeks of cigarettes and whiskey, disconcerting for someone who has just put his life in this man’s hands. The stench makes me nauseous. I run to a nearby garbage can and puke, a horrible waste of cookies.
My Dad. He's awesome.
John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney