The Teacups (repeat)

By Pamela Rothbard

August 5, 2019

The Teacups (repeat)

First posted on June 9, 2014. 

At the boardwalk, everything is past its prime: sweating hot dogs, mashed bags of cotton candy, melting ice cream. The workers move by rote--lifting and lowering the gate, pulling up on harnesses, scanning tickets. I slump in line. My daughter presses her whole body against the bars that separate us and the ride. As we board the teacups, the song, “Hey Mickey,” blares. It takes me back to college, to crazy humbling love with a boy named Mickey, to being on my own for the first time. The teacup spins and the fair blurs and I’m in high school, free and unworried, dancing with my friends and belting lyrics. The game worker’s desperate calls fall away and I’m a child facing my dad across the teacup--sweat drips through his sideburns as he turns the middle wheel against his paunch, speeding us up. In those minutes, I understand; for that one song, I see why we spend the money, the time, the energy to put ourselves in artificial situations--not just spinning teacups, but also ferris wheel seats swinging into the sky and coaster cars perched atop big drops. We need to forget and to remember. We need to race through time and feel ageless. We need to be all of our selves at once and no one. Off the ride, my daughter puts her hand in mine. I’m a mom again and she’s smiling as she says, “That was fast!” I agree. It is all so fast.


Photo "Teacups 02" provided by David Cobb, via Flickr creative commons license.

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