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In college, I spent a couple summers working the graveyard shift at Six Flags Magic Mountain. I’d count money all night long, and as the sun came up and the park opened, my coworkers and I would occasionally head out into the park, get in line ahead of the crowds, for one of the new, fast, rides, like the Ninja—always choosing the first car for the most exhilarating experience.
Having cousins who worked at Magic Mountain when I was growing up, I road the new coasters not long after they opened. I loved wooden coasters, roller coasters with loops, coasters that suspended the rider from overhead tracks, roller coasters that let you stand up, go backwards, upside down. The faster, more unpredictable, the better.
Today, sitting in the oncologist’s office, I realized I don’t like roller coasters anymore. I don’t like not knowing what’s around the next corner (blood work and a chest x-ray). I don’t like the sudden jerks (changing the chemo date), the change in course (inpatient chemo, perhaps), the corkscrew when you’re expecting a drop (a biopsy in the morning), and the operator who thinks a second run would be a treat when all you really want to do is get off the ride (maybe just a mini-chemo to get him through the weekend).
Fucking roller coasters.