The Spaces Between Your Fingers

Click the image to flip

Flip
I interviewed my grandfather Doc on the back porch of my mother’s house. He had actually told me this story the day before, and I thought it was so funny I asked for him to tell me again on record. The visual was too good to pass up. He has tons of short, near terrifying life stories like this, but he always tells them in such funny ways I can’t even feel afraid. Like when his office at his university got bombed by protestors or the time when he was fifteen and a pilot made him fly the plane so he could go play poker in the back. Casual things like that.
Original Artwork by Rachel Goldfinger.

Sitting in the last car of the roller coaster, Francis pondered exactly why it was called an ‘amusement park’. Sure, most people visiting felt some form of contentment in a place like this, but he sure wasn’t. Well, he was. For a little while. Up until he took the advice of his friends and boarded the new rollercoaster. At first, he was the only one on the ride. Now, he sat at the end of the train, staring at the back of the head of a man who got on last minute. 

He didn’t have a problem with it until they hit the mountain. Francis already didn’t love the part of roller coasters where you’re slowly being led up in anticipation, but this was worse. His hands gripped the handlebars tightly as he tried to brace himself. Go on the new rollercoaster, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Feels great after a long day of work, they said. The world felt quiet as they ascended, and the man sat completely still in front of him, no signs of nerves or excitement anywhere in his body. Then the man lifted up the safety bar.

Francis’ blood sugar started to rise as he squeaked out, “Um, sir…?”

Nothing. Not even a glance back. The man stood up. The coaster kept clicking up the incline as if nobody was in any immediate danger, ignoring the person with no sense of personal safety as well as the one who’s knuckles had just turned white. 

He tried again to reach him, shrieking, “Hey, I really don’t think that’s a good idea, you really oughtta get back in the car!”

Still with no response or acknowledgment of the person reasonably concerned for his well-being, right as the cars hit the apex, the man stepped out.

It was like the entire world stopped and sped up all at once. Francis’ stomach dropped ten stories as he whipped his head behind him to see what happened as the coaster gained momentum. Instead of seeing a mangled body, or nothing at all (which would have been worse), there the man was, standing at the top of the hill, perfectly fine. Simply pulling on the ropes that held the American flag that stands tall above the ride, as casually as if it was the job he did every day (because it was). And as the park reached its closing hours, sun setting low in the sky, Francis struggled to watch as the man cradled the flag in his arms, waited for the next coaster to breach the top of the hill, and hopped right in. He nervously chuckled to himself and immediately wished that employee had been wearing a proper uniform.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Flag as Inappropriate

I interviewed my grandfather Doc on the back porch of my mother’s house. He had actually told me this story the day before, and I thought it was so funny I asked for him to tell me again on record. The visual was too good to pass up. He has tons of short, near terrifying life stories like this, but he always tells them in such funny ways I can’t even feel afraid. Like when his office at his university got bombed by protestors or the time when he was fifteen and a pilot made him fly the plane so he could go play poker in the back. Casual things like that.
Original Artwork by Rachel Goldfinger.

Rating:
Recorded by Rachel Goldfinger on December 6, 2019
×
×
4
×
Alert IconAre you sure you want to permanently delete this postcard? You cannot undo this action. Delete
×