Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Never Ending Roller Coaster By: Karen Pilarski



Tick tick tick.

The train on the ride clicks along the track. Heart palpitates and white knuckles clench the seat restraints.

Slowly the car jerks up the hill as nervous laughter is heard a few car trains behind.

Body tightens and teeth grinds as the car tips over the highest point of the track. The scenery that surrounds the roller coaster is only observed for a split second.

Stomach full of corn dogs and nachos swish and gurgle as the car races in bullet speed to a unknown impending doom.

There is an odd union of horror and excitement taking place within each curvy loop and spiral.

 I remember my first and last roller coaster ride. It was on the American Eagle coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL. My oldest sister wanted to go on the wooden giant.

Our younger sibling bailed out of it. This was my chance to look brave.

I went on the ride and closed my eyes almost the whole time. After that day I vowed to go on land type rides. The picture frozen on the screen was my sister screaming and me covering my face.

Unfortunately 'safe' land rides are just as unpredictable. I once went on Tilt-A-Whirl when I was a kid. It was at the church fair across the street. My insides were squirming from the ten snow cones I ingested a half hour earlier.

The ride spun around and my friends twirled the wheel faster and faster. Hair whipped around and hats flew off heads of other riders. After the turning stopped, I proceeded to vomit all over the ride. 

There have been many times in my life I felt as if I was dragged along for a ride or on never ending roller coaster. I haven't spoken to one of my siblings in a long time. Her mood swings and erratic behavior are far too dicey to deal with.

The last time I had an interaction with her was six years ago when I was getting married.
 
In a sense of family obligation I send her an invitation to the ceremony. She contacted me and offered to pay for our wedding cake. Two days later my fiance and I picked out our cake on my lunch break.

She was livid that she didn't get to pick it out after all she was going to pay for it. Then she screamed insults at me and said forget the whole thing. Needless to say she didn't come to my wedding.

Two days ago I had to come to terms with the fact that I will never want to be on a specific person's ride. Each interaction feels like a roller coaster ride. There are times when she is fun and full of light. A day later it is as if a dark cloud hovered above her.

 Her moods are a roller coaster with a crazy butterfly type inversion. The ride starts out normal then twists and turns everything upside down. Just when there is calm it goes into reverse and a dive loop.

Of course everyone around her are actors playing their parts.

Normally I am a reserved person. That day she baited me and taunted me into a heated argument. She used my kids to cause patience and compassion to dive drop.

I should have remembered the ride before opening my big trap.

The incursion was brutal. A slanderous term I gave to her husband. Only he was not in the suddenly dim living room.

Her husband currently is in the big house. I screamed his sin. The name of the sin was not inaccurate. It was the vileness of my tone that riled her up.

My words stabbed her and slapped her ego. It was a low blow and I knew it. She shoved me and I shoved back. The scuffle was broken up quickly before it became a scene.

Since that day I have replayed the afternoon in my mind. Wishing I could hit reverse to bite my tongue. Had the blood trickled down my chin the fury would have been interrupted.

 Perhaps the ride would have shut down and ceased right then and there.

That is the reality of dealing with a person who has an inclined loop of chaos.

For some they can handle all the highs and lows. Then there are people like me who cover their eyes not wanting to experience the ride in the first place.