Rapid Acceleration

The Music Express.

My favorite ride at Rocky Point, a sprawling amusement park in my hometown that got its start in the nineteenth century as a seaside retreat for the overworked and overheated city folk.

Colorful piano keys rippling over the metal supports that tethered the cars to the central motor like spokes on a wheel.  The cars themselves with shimmering metallic paint jobs.  The track, an undulating up and down dropping and rising like the craziest country road.

As the music started and the cars wound up, you had no choice but to hold on tight.  No matter how hard you gripped the cool metal bar on the far end of the car, however, you would inevitably slide down to the outer corner of the car, crushing whichever friend got that lucky seat.  You’d laugh and try to scootch yourself up in between the dips and rolls, but then give up to the inevitable and sing along at the top of your lungs with the music blaring through the loudspeakers.


Giving yourself over to the centrifugal force was easy.  It was stronger than you.  It was outside of you, pushing you out and down.  It strained every muscle in your skinny little arms to grasp that metal bar and float a few inches off the seat.

But what about those first few minutes when the ride hadn’t reached full speed, or the last few as it wound down?  Were you in control then?  Was it as enjoyable to hear the music on that part of the ride?  Or was it a letdown because it wasn’t full throttle?

I think when life moves as fast as The Music Express it’s easy for everything to crush together, all aspects of life compressed, no one able to be picked out individually and examined.  Sure, there’s good music, but everything’s moving at such a frenetic pace, it sometimes becomes just background noise.  And your friends are there, but you’re all just mashed up next to each other, trying to survive the same thing in close proximity.

I need to get off the ride from time to time.  Even though it’s my favorite.  Even though I love the song.

I need quiet.  Time to sit.  Stare.  Think.  And then to stop thinking so that my subconscious, the universe, God can speak to me.

Now if only I could get the attention of that guy flicking the switches.  Oh wait, that’s me.


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