Monday, August 21, 2006

Roller Coasters Count As Caffeine

OOOOooooooooooooohhhhhhhh I went to six flags today and I'm STILL HIGH. Superman: Ride of Steel is possibly the greatest thing on the planet.

I love roller coasters and anything like them. If you can be launched out of it, ski down it, climb up it, make it go really fast, or any combination of the above, I'm so there. It's about hacking your body, similar, I suppose, to coffee. "Surviving" the perceived threat of the roller coaster triggers a flight or flight response and an accompanying adrenalin rush.

The demands of the general public have, thankfully, encouraged innovation with roller coasters. New designs like floorless, suspended, inverted, launched, flying, or pipeline show more and more ways to scare and disoriented us. Sick as some of those coasters look, I'm still a sucker for the classic--a really big-ass drop.

Superman handily meets this requirement, sending riders plummeting 221 feet at an incredibly steep angle. This produces for the rider more than ten seconds of what is known by coaster buffs as "airtime." The technical description is that you feel weightless. The actual description....well, I'll try.

To get the full experience, you MUST put your hands over your head. As you crest the hill and gaze down at the teeny looking surroundings, every reflex you have is telling you not to, which is exactly why you should. And you FALL. You're more than floating because you're moving so rapidly. Many people try to simplify it as your "stomach coming up into your throat" but it's more than that. You feel like you're being torn apart--not painfully, but like your body is being converted into pure light energy. You're dancing on a molecular level. It's like dying and being born simultaneously. It's like living everything in one instant.

It's like getting out of the cars and not quite being able to walk yet because you haven't collected yourself from 221 feet up.

It's like the smile you can't seem to lose.

It fades, sadly, but it takes a while, and it's so tempting to get back in line. You want to live your whole life like that, up so high, but it would be too intense for your mortal self, body and mind.

But when it gets bad, you can remember what it was like to fly.

And then you can go home and write a trying-way-too-hard-to-be-poignant post that REEKS of your very teenageness on your by-definition-narcissistic blog.

But you don't really care that it sounds dumb, because you went on fucking Superman.

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