Friday, May 8, 2009

Waiting in line for a E Ticket Life...


When I was growing up, trips to Disney World were a annual occurrence. In the 70s and early 80s, when you entered those magical gates you were given a book of tickets...labeled "A-E". "A" tickets were used for the most mundane of rides. Not even rides more like shows, the Hall of Presidents comes to mind. I can still remember Abe Lincoln's ghastly face as he muttered the Gettysburg address. I didn't care what Abe or George had to say, I never listened. The Hall of Presidents was a place to cool off and devise my plan on how I was going to talk my parents into buying that really cool $25 Cinderella journal and pen set that at Eckerds would have only cost $5.99. Ride excitement increased with the alphabet. "B" tickets were traded for the Merry-go-round and "C" tickets for even faster rides like Dumbo, and so on and so forth. "E" rides, however, these were the rides that would make the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand up. E was for exciting and the most wonderful "E" ride at the park was Space Mountain.

My life these past six months has resembled a typical day at Disney: excitement, wonder and unfortunately infinite patience. These past couple of month I have spent a great deal of time waiting for the new chapter, standing in line. In fact, I imagine most of us have felt the same way, we are waiting for distressed economy to pick up, waiting for Obama to take charge, waiting for someone to figure out a way to "cool down" the planet and waiting for the troops to come home. For me personally I am waiting for a move to a new city where new schools, friends, a new life awaits... In this seemingly never ending line of life, when will the ride finally begin? As we wind back and forth through the cleverly marked roped paths, anxious for our new adventures we want to make sure we do not miss our present and current position. So I look left in line and there is a women who looks like she has it all together, she hasn't broke a sweat, her clothes are pressed and her children are standing in line quietly, I envy her for a moment. On our right, is her exact opposite. Her children are bouncing on the ropes, and the dirty faced little monster has just spilt his red slurpee on the cement and it has splashed up and stained my white socks, they probably saved a year for this trip and they were here when the park opened and will be here until close, been there done that. Ahead, people in front are not paying attention and are leaving big gaps of open space between them and as reach out to tap them on the shoulder they move at the last minute. And the man behind me has lost all concept of personal space and on his hot breath I can smell the three - $8 hot dogs he just wolfed down, it is gross but I find myself a little hungry. But I stand and wait, and wait and wait. Further ahead a tunnel, and then openness, I round the last corner and I can see it, the final walkway. I can feel the breeze from the ride as it stops ahead allowing those that were lucky enough to be in front of me grab hold and buckle themselves in. We are next... but the question is, after all of this time which ride will I take? Which ride would you take? The safe "B" Merry-Go-Round, that turn your stomach at first, but the scenery never changes, you just go around and around. You see the same people over and over, and the same four silly songs are repeated again an again but you are comfortable. Or do you choose Space Mountain, with its flips, twists and overwhelming speed. You feel both the urge to throw up and to laugh out loud at the same time. You can't see anything but darkness, uncertain if you will turn left or right, go up or down, but you can hear the screaming of those around you, and they are not only screams of concern but of joy and happiness too.

It is an easy decision for me, Space Mountain wins. And after the ride is over, I unbuckle my belt, a little dizzy and even a bit nauseous and you know what...I get back in line, I am going to ride it again, but this time I am going to grab a hot dog and a red slurpee...seriously, why can't I?

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