When you're belted into a roller coaster and pulled up, up, on a high slope where you will gain the inertia you need to finish the run. The moment the cable releases and you're gearing up for the tickle in your stomach that triggers a scream in your throat and your eyes to shut, all in resistance to a sensation you stood in line with your ticket specifically to gain.

I grew up around roller coasters, around rides that were engineered for the adrenaline rushes we crave as bored mortals bound to the ground by fear of the unknown. When the Tidal Wave first opened up, I rode it non stop, back to back, jumping from my seat to run back in line for the next run, eager to get the car right in front. People in line would watch our faces, a bright floodlight illuminating our nervousness, the pointless dialogue we'd carry with our neighbor before that cable released. Several times I would try to psyche myself out of tensing up, and a few times I succeeded. To release fear as that cable released us. It was always a liberating feeling.

That's the closest description to the way I feel tonight, caught in the in between spaces of emotion. Helpless to a degree, but not afraid anymore. Hopeful but not so much that it overwhelms me with over-protective fear and worry. The anxiety has left me for a time, but I still hope things will come out all right, meaning that they will come out the way I hope they will, the way I want them to.

It is the combination of hope with the realization that I may be disappointed, coupled with the knowledge that I can actually handle either option, when one has been taken and reserved for keeps. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be alive or to be at least on the verge of it. If that cable never released, we'd all be demanding a refund.

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