Roller Coaster Life

Say life is a theme park (pick which ever theme you want). Each week, on Monday, you are back at the end of the rat’s maze line waiting to get on that fabulous roller coaster called The Weekend. Each twist of the line, each small step you take – hoping not to be jostled too much by the crowd around you and praying that guy on his phone doesn’t spill his coffee on you because you didn’t bring a change of clothes – gets you closer to Friday. On Monday, all you can see are the people ahead of you and the annoying family with all the bratty loud kids who are probably too small for this ride anyway.

Tuesday’s not much better. Now you’re really squashed in. If you want out now, you’re going to have to fight your way out between the guy eating the smelly sub sandwich (extra onions? Who does that?) and the metrosexual guy who doesn’t realize he’s actually gay even though he’s totally checking out the guy who’s already reached Friday and is climbing in a car, ready for the ride to begin.

Wednesday….well, you’re all in now. Right smack in the middle of this chaos. Might as well just tough it out. The annoying family has bailed (one kid had a reeking diaper and the girl just puked all over the mom – too much fun, the untouched dad says and gets The Look from his suffering wife who’s daydreaming about divorce proceedings) and the line lurches that much closer to Thursday.

Now, you can see the light at the end of the coaster tunnel. For real. Things are moving more briskly. A hot dog vendor comes by and you order a dog with mustard and a small coke to get you to the end.

And then! Friday! You finally get to board the car. And even better, you don’t have to share it with a stranger! The bar comes down automatically and zooooommmm! You take off! It’s either non-stop excitement or it’s a lazy slow ride through the Tunnel of Love (mine’s the Tunnel of Sleep, but this is Choose Your Own Adventure, so you can call it what you want).

Nevertheless, the ride’s over way too quickly and before you know it, the car comes to a halt and you’re ejected out and down the back stairs that don’t seem quite as sturdy as the entrance stairs. Probably because you can’t see these from the road, the path, the snaking line of expectant park guests. There’s a lot of trash back here at Sunday Night where scores of people failed to get their wrappers into the very large trash can. How could they miss it? Is it intentional? Are they so sad that it’s at an end that they just don’t give a damn anymore? Because as soon as they step down to the dirt and go around the ride to the park….it’s Monday again. Sucks.

Only thing for it is to get back at the end of the line and do it all over again.

At least, that’s how it feels to me. We’re finally back to regular, normal time and I wish it would just stay put. That time change thing is like a ride I only want to ever ride once. I can’t take it. The back and forth is painful. And this change was followed by a hard frost last night. The winds came in this weekend and blew away all the warmth and the beautiful leaves and now it’s cold and blustery and most of the trees are naked now.

My weekend (Tunnel of Solace) was spent mostly at home, quietly and alone. I got the gutters cleaned out (first leaf onslaught; there will be more once the maples on the far side give it up), brought in wood and lit a fire, cleaned and tidied and caulked up the worst spot at the base of my shower. I did a bit of writing, a lot of reading. I saw a movie with a friend and then picked up the kids and came home to a dark house with the stars already out and shining by 6:30pm. Oh well. It’s basically winter now for all intents and purposes. Who needs daylight at that hour when it’s too cold to enjoy it?

I’m turning my thoughts to all those looming holidays. The first of which falls on Dusty’s 14th birthday. There’s a roller coaster that moves even faster than the weekly one: the Watching Children Grow Up one. That one’s a doozy. When I began my first blog, back in 2004, Dusty was a toddler being potty trained and starting preschool with a new baby sister. Now, she’s almost in high school. Sigh.

Stop the ride, I want to get off.

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One thought on “Roller Coaster Life

  1. End of the line Monday, start of the winter dark. The only solace, it seems to me, is stocking your brain with fiction that you can mull over throughout the work week. Even better when you can write your own! “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” myself.

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