It wasn’t about us, really

The swirling of all our stomachs at the same time was only the effect of the roller coaster. It wasn’t about our feelings, it really wasn’t. We just needed to get away from the ground, so we took a trip to the nearest Six Flags, screaming the lyrics to songs we barely knew all the way there, and paid the entry fee and found the roller coaster with the shortest line and hopped on.
The separation of our bodies from the earth was what made us queasy. Really. It wasn’t the divorce papers we’d signed that morning. It wasn’t our parents dying. It wasn’t the loss of faith in a childish heaven with pearly golden gates. That never made sense to us, anyway. How could anything be both pearly and gold? White gold wasn’t something we’d heard of yet back then, we were too young and poor. The realization that heaven could still exist for us only came later, dropped like a bomb in our backyards, tearing everything to shreds while we were scrambling to get out of the bathtubs we tried to drown ourselves in day after day.
There is turmoil and there is peace, and sometimes they coexist. At the top of the roller coaster that day we could feel both forces pulling and pushing at us, creating the perfect equilibrium. We knew in that moment that everything that had been holding us down would dissipate in smoky clouds and that we would never need to breathe lungfuls of rotten eggs again.

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One thought on “It wasn’t about us, really

  1. I just came back to this piece to reread it. It’s really short but it’s lovely, and there’s so much in it. It kind of makes my stomach drop a bit to read it, in a roller-coaster-y kind of a way.

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