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March 11, 2008

It’s that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a roller coaster just barely makes it over a peak. Not the first one, because that one you slowly clunk up to. The second one. The one that’s designed to get as high as it can get and the cars get slower as they get higher and with just a moment to really capitalize on the anticipation

it dives.

And you know the dive is coming, that’s why you don’t freak out.

Or when you think you’re at the bottom of a set of stairs but there’s really one more waiting. You probably pull a funny face because it catches you off guard but you don’t scream because it doesn’t last that long. By the time you’ve inhaled you’ve also arrived so it’s not a big deal. But there’s that feeling.

Or when someone who calls himself a friend but who really wants to see you dead finds himself on one of those big trampolines with you. You’re bouncing along, minding your own business: up and down and up and down. You know how long it will take to hit the mat again until your foe manages to time a jump just right and send you flying. You flail like an idiot and hopefully don’t scream like a little girl, but you come back down. There’s a moment, though, when you’re as high as you’re going to get and you just

stop

midair as gravity finally overcomes velocity and pulls you back down. And it’s in that moment that you get that feeling.

The feeling is fun because it ends quickly. It’s like a single hiccup, or the build-up to a really good sneeze.

But what’s really awful is when the sneeze doesn’t come. When you can feel it in your nose and you sniff and squint and rub your nose in all directions but it doesn’t come.

The feeling is fun because it ends quickly.

Usually.

I’ve been living in that feeling for the past few days. Every moment I have to sit still I’m suddenly aware that the roller coaster never dropped, the last step never came, and I’m still – somehow- suspended parallel to the roof of the house. I can feel it in my stomach. That obnoxious anticipation.

It’s everything. Yes it’s the house, but it’s so many other things – none of which I can or want to publish. I feel like my entire life got flung into the air and someone hit Pause.

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