How is it even socially acceptable for someone to be an adrenaline junky? Do tell me, because I'd really like to know. People that like to throw themselves within inches of death's front yard have a serious problem that needs dealing with, and just why did I even agree to come here? Oh that's right. I drove two relatively smooth hours across the highway for her. The beautiful little lady I've been married to for three years, who's now dragging me by the hand with the biggest, happiest grin across her face I've ever seen.
"Come on, Karen. I don't wanna be held back in a long line."
Well, from the looks of things, I've made my own bed, which is to say a bed of rusty 10 inch nails, and now I've got to lie in it. At least she's happy. That's why we've been ripping through the entire park all day at the same blistering speed that we're ripping toward this stupidly dangerous Hulk-themed roller coaster. So far, I've been able to keep my lunch where it should stay, but up until now we've been watching inside light shows and eating popcorn and riding more child appropriate rides. This...thing with it's wide green rails spiralling and spinning up into the sky and down so close to the ground it looks like the poor dead-to-rights bastards already on it at that point could run their fingers along the ground and lose those fingers in the process.
"This is it!" my wife yells while turning to give me a big strong hug around the top of my back.
"Barbara, are you sure this thing is safe?"
"Ohhh, don't be such a fraidy cat, Karen. Live on the edge, it'll be fun. I promise."
Even though I know for a concrete fact it won't be fun, I'm a sucker for her anyway, and we get in line behind around 10 eager-looking tourists. Barbara's not an unhappy or negative woman by any means, but I'm in love with seeing her this excited and jaunty today. So be it if this thing's going to make me spew and shit jalapeno poppers, which will rain down on the people on the ground. At least Barbara will have a really, really good time. And I don't think I've heard anyone's death cries coming from this thing today so maybe it's relatively safe.
An old guy is letting the tourists on by rows of four. Unfortunately that means there's two seats left in the last car, perfectly vacant for my wife and I. It almost seems a little too perfect.
"Alright, you two love birds be sure not to stand up or move too far outside of your safety harnesses and you should have a good time," the old guy belches and I can smell bourbon rising toward me from his mouth. Barbara hops in the cart next to another nice-looking couple who she immediately says hi to and asks if they're ready for the ride. Meanwhile, I stand and stare down the rails leading up and up and up for what feels like goes all the way to the stratosphere. "Little nervous there, guy?" the old man asks with a chuckle and more bourbon stench flies up my nostrils. I sigh, shake my head, and get in reluctantly next to my wife.
"It's gonna be fine, Karebear. I love you so much for surprising me with this today." She takes my hand in hers and squeezes it. Her dark brown, almost black eyes stare into mine, and I can't help but feel infinite in this moment. But then the cart jolts forward, ricketing along the tracks as we slide up them. "Here we go. You ready?" she asks, still tightly holding my hand.
I'm not at all ready, but squeeze her hand and feel the blood rush to my head as we near the top of the arc. We're high up enough to be the birds now. Flying carelessly, our feathered wings working against the breeze to take us wherever we feel happy. And then, like a lead balloon, we plummet down toward the water laid out under us in a greenish pool. Thick wetness flew up and hit me about the ears as Barbara Anne laughed and giggled to her heart's content. It's all for her. It doesn't matter if I'm not exactly having the time of my life if she's happy.
At what must've been 80MPH we shoot and twist upside down and all around toward a rocky cave with a low hanging roof. I watch as my wife's harness bolts up, her arms waving about freely. Fear strikes me in terrible chills until I look into her eyes again and see that she is happy. We enter the dark roofed cave in an instant, ushered into blackness in deep contrast from the light of the hot sun outside over the water. She stands stiff the whole time, and I can't quite see her face, but I can tell she's having the most fun she's had in a long time since I met her. I grab her hand again, but she does not squeeze mine back.
Suddenly something solid and heavy plops into my lap. I jump back against the cart, not at all expecting to see my wife's dark brown, almost black eyes stare up at me from her disembodied head, still grinning with excitement. The light outside shines over the blood spilling onto my lap from her neck as I begin to scream and the couple next to us, also covered in her blood, begins to laugh and splash it at each other playfully like giddy children in a public pool.
I awaken with my hair drenched in cold sweat, trying very hard to catch my breath that seems impossible to get back. "Karen...are you alright?" Barbara Anne asks with a raised eyebrow from her side of the bed. I look away from her and see the morning light coming through the bedroom windows in bright pillars. "Just a nightmare, honey. That's all," I say warmly and sweep her dark brown bedhead to the side of her face.
"Awe, I'm sorry," she says. "Well, I could make you some breakfast if you help me into the bathroom to put on my makeup and brush my teeth." I lift her head up and give her a quick kiss before carrying her through the bathroom door. I inquire silently to myself, that it's relatively normal to have nightmares like the one I just had; after all, not everyone is in love with a living severed head.