Monday, April 03, 2006

MONDAY MEDS: Cyclonic Reaction

- or how i busted my back on Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster and became instantly old.

It’s fairly safe to say that one is officially out of rhythm with the Universe when something that a zillion people have been doing for fun since 1927 causes me serious bodily harm. It’s ’91, and there were other obvious hints I shudda clearclocked, but when one lives life from the premise that ‘reality doesn’t apply to me’ things like being broke, being stranded in Centerpoint, LI, after the magazine I was editing fizzled (and the jerk publisher skipped), etc. seem to breeze by as Not Worth Sweating About.

And when it’s a lovely summer day, and Coney Island is hosting its annual Mermaid Parade, that N.W. S. A. attitude does seems like the right one to have. The Parade is alt NYC culture at its skin show best – every neoboholesboSohoWilliamsbonympho art babe is out there with clamshell bras and grass skirts flashing all those hidden tats that only their lovers get to see. The marching bands and samba schools writhe and strut, their “T.F.B. if we’re out of tune” tunes being slashed every three minutes by shrieks and rattling timbers from a National Historic Landmark – the Cyclone roller coaster at Astroland, which many consider to be the best thrill ride in the world.

And even tho I’d lived in the NYC area for 11 years by then, I still hadn’t ridden it. Oh roller coasters are okay as far as Barf Machines go, I guess, and it was fun when The Waitresses would play a Six Flags back in the day, and the staff would keep the coaster open for us after hours for unlimited rides. But a ride on The Cyclone – man, that’s an experience all true New Yorkers must have in order to be able to call themselves true New Yorkers.

Stand in line/get ticket. Three cars rumble into the station, and the seven or nine riders wobble off…some reeling, some laughing, some with a hauntedijustsawdeath expression. Let the kids get in the first car, the old geezers in the rear…I’ll take the middle car. The attendant shoves a lever, and a steel bar locks us into our seats. Another lever and cogs on the undercarriage of the cars catch the pull chain, and we lurch into motion and begin to climb the main hill with its 85-foot/60 degree drop.

I just sit there. No ‘look ma, no hands’. No omigodimgonnadie. Should I keep my back straight? Slump a little?...yeah that’s it. Relax and enjoy the ride.

And then we are at the top, and there is a sign that reads Stay Seated and we lazily roll over the curved track and then freefall thru space and I feel the car I’m in ever so slightly lift off the track and when we hit bottom, the bowed cars whiplashsmack me down into my seat and I am in unbelievably excruciating pain.

(to be continued next Monday)

NP: OHIO PLAYERS/"Love Roller Coaster"

by the way =

by the wayer:

PEEVE DE JOUR: the exercises i still have to do every day because of this injury.


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