no I am not going to write about Goodfellas, but amusement parks, one of most fav things in the world. I can’t do crazy rides anymore, but I love going to boardwalks and fairs and parks and just reveling in the whole scene, and I love bringing my kids. I just may ride the cyclone again before I die, or not. I really like my spine and am not that interested in injuring it. But it is tempting.
My two amusment park memories are not particularly fun or joyous, but here they are. One is being 3 or 4 and going to Palisades Park in New Jersey and my parents putting my sister and I on a ride that was a boat that went around a circular track pool. When the ride started it became apparent that the ride was for older kids. You actually had to steer the boat. My sister who was 5 or 6 would turn the wheel and we would bang into the metal wall and jerk around and then she would try to right the vessel and turn it the wheel the other way and we would slam into the other side of the pool. It wasn’t terrible but it was bad. My mother started to panic and freak out from the viewing area and my sister got a bloody nose from the slamming and my father got furious at the people who ran the ride. I watched helplessly, wanting to fix everyone and unable to. Finally, a guy who worked there jumped from onto the back of our boat and, squatting behind my sister’s seat, up on the back of the ride, he steered the boat until the ride stopped.
It was traumatic, and my parents did not take us to amusement parks after that. Palisades closed and the only time I got to go on rides was on school trips. I, however, was not traumatized into not going on rides. I loved them, still do.
Then, a friend’s family took me with them on a family trip to a fantastic amusement park late one summer around sixth grade. We ran wild all day. It was absolutely spectacular. At the end of the day before we got in the car we went to the bathroom. It was late, dark out, the park was closing. After I peed, I found my hands paralyzed. I absolutely could not zip my pants back up. My fingers no longer moved when my brain asked them to. I was terrified, freaking out in my stall, unable to ask for help, horrified that something was wrong with me. Then, as usual, after an eternity, I absolutely willed my broken body to work. Making a paralyzed body work was easier than leaving the stall with my pants half on, unzipped and having to explain myself and having anyone know that there was something wrong with me.
When I came out of the stall I saw my friend’s mother kneeling down, zipping her pants for her outside of the stall. She told me about how her hands did not work and how she tried to press her body against the wall to try to close her snap but she couldn’t do it. We laughed alot as I told her I couldn’t either.
To this day I am not sure what happened but I think we were just frozen because we were not wearing much clothes on an end of summer night that got cold and that we were just unaware of how cold we were because of all of the stimulus.
I think I will write more about the joys tomorrow. In the meantime, try to give yourself what you did not get enough of, treat your self the way you wish you were treated as a kid. Amen.