it’s like you’re a bird and you’re flying

Posted: July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »

from the june 13 dispatch of new york today about coney island’s new roller coaster:

A new roller coaster opens in Coney Island on Saturday.

The Thunderbolt is a skinny orange tangle of loops and corkscrews nearly half a mile long, featuring a 115-foot plunge and a tummy-turning series of inversions.

So when I was offered a test ride, I said what any sane person would:

“No way.”

But I found someone to take my place: my 9-year-old daughter.

In the chill of Wednesday evening in nearly deserted Luna Park, Violet, her friend Emmett, also 9, and his father were locked into the bright red seats.

The ride looked unfinished. The car behind them was occupied by crash dummies. The padded headrests had not been installed yet.

“Do not put your head back during the ride,” Luna Park’s photographer said. “I don’t want you to have an unpleasant experience.”

“Let me out!” Violet yelled.

Too late. The car inched away slowly, straight up, riders facing the sky. Over the brink, and the screams got louder.

Zoom, swish, slam, zoom, spin, and it was over.

Violet was breathless but not speechless.

“It’s like you’re a bird and you’re flying but then someone shoots you and you’re falling and then someone gives you the Golden Fleece which makes you alive even if you’re dead and then you’re flying and jumping and flying and jumping and then you land on a branch. Woohoohoohooo I’m alive!”

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