Last year at this time, I was in

    Struck with a side effect of an
illness, I had rolled a six on the ‘corn holed by the Gods’ table and gotten
one of those one tenth of one percent kind of things going on. I had a cyst
growing on my pancreas that would turn out to be the size of a healthy newborn,
and was eating 10-12 Vicodin a day to combat the pain. I would eventually have
surgery and recover, and even escape the painkillers without a monkey on my
back. How I got through either, I look back somewhat and marvel.

 Flash to the present.

    It’s been a month since I had been
given a clean bill of health by my surgeon. That didn’t mean, however, things
were well. I had been given the go ahead to back to work a few months ago. That
said, living in what amounts to the geographical armpit of America (or the
crotch of Detroit, take your pick) doesn’t leave a lot of job prospects. I
found something, though, and was hoping to do something with the opportunity
given despite its menial pay. Until that is, I found out that the only thing
that came with a promotion was more work. Another possibly lucrative employment
opportunity fell through shortly after. Needless to say, feeling a bit like
crawling under a rock because I couldn’t find decent gainful employment that
didn’t make me wonder how I would carry through the next couple of weeks until
the next payday with the check in my hand for this one not even cashed yet is a
bit a of an understatement. I felt like a loser.

Until today, that is.

    Nothing historic happened. Dr. Phil
didn’t get swallowed up by Dagon (despite my best efforts otherwise). A magical
job didn’t land in my lap or anything. All I did was go to one of my favorite
places on earth. Some of you live near one of the big studio parks, or one of
the Disneys, or maybe even a Six Flags. I got the trump card an hour from my
house: Cedar Point. Some of you might shrug, guffaw, or try to tell me why I
don’t but when I have almost two dozen roller coasters that have all in some
way, shape, or form set or broken standing records I’m going to have to call
shenanigans on you sir (or madam as the case may be).

    I was with a friend and we were in
line to ride the Millennium Force. It was getting on in the day and the sun was
starting to get low in a cloudless sky. It was his first time on the coaster
and I, in true friend fashion(tm), drug him onto the first car. It had been a
couple years since I rode the coaster and forgotten how daunting the 310 foot
tall hill looked when sitting at its base in the train. Going up that hill at
fifteen miles an hour takes a few seconds. It gives one time to think. I looked
out over Lake Erie, dotted on this flawless day by sailboats, jet skis, and
ferries to the islands that sit out on her. It’s amazing how much stock one can
take when given a few moments of serenity on a roller coaster. We crested that
first hill, and I looked down at the eighty degree drop before me.

    In reflex, I did something I’d never
done on a roller coaster before: I let go and raise my hands in the air.

     I also did something I usually never
do: I let go. Of all the worries, doubts, and depression that had a grip on me
for the past few weeks. I let go of the grousing, bitter, and sardonic person
that I am. I let go of the vitriol I usually carry in abundance. For a minute
and forty five seconds today, I managed to let go of everything. Of course, it
was also roughly that long after I stepped off the roller coaster that I picked
it all back up again but for a few, short glorious moments today the window was
open and I got to see outside of all of it.

    It’s been a week now more or less
since I was given this blog. “Set ‘em up with a login and see if they can
deliver brilliance!” was what was in the email. I’ve spent every minute
since then wracking my brains, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to
introduce myself to you people – hoping that I wouldn’t be sacrificed on the
altar of suck. I know this is a movie and pop culture website – movies, TV shows,
video games, and comic books, all them represented here and represented well.
Sometimes I’ll write about these things. I just didn’t want to open like that,
though. I wanted to open with something a little more real: today, I let go; if
only just for a moment.


Nick – I’m not sure I’ve delivered brilliance here, but
I’ve at least delivered from the heart.