A mechanical clanking noise
Orchestrates the plodding climb to the top.
At the summit,
The car is suspended for a split second.
In that time I notice my white-knuckle grip
On the safety bars
And glance to you, sitting next to me, for comfort –
Making sure that we are in this madness together.
Instead of finding your soothing presence,
Adorned with a carefree smile
And caring eyes,
It is empty.
We boarded the ride together,
When did you abandon ship?
I feel your seat,
Searching for a tangible clue of your disappearance.
I feel the heat – remnant of your body.
Before I can wonder anymore,
An alarming jolt signals the start of a plummeting descent.
My hand grips the safety bar once more.
I close my eyes this time,
Before, with you next to me,
I was brave enough to keep them open.
Now that willpower is beyond me.
As the ride plays out its stomach-churning twists and turns,
I am overcome by the most insane feeling of aloneness.
I sense the ride slowing down.
I timidly open my eyes,
I notice the boarding platform rushing up.
(maybe you’re there waiting for me?)
(maybe you didn’t board this ride with me? but deep down I know you did)
Once the safety bar is disengaged
I stand up
Gingerly testing my feet on seemingly solid earth.
I pretend to look around nonchalantly
But in fact I am furiously scanning the crowds for you.
I want nothing more than to melt into your arms
And laugh away my silly neurosis
Then walk away to get some candy-floss.
Every hostile face that shadows mine
Is not yours.
Incredulously I find myself back in line for the same ride.
Maybe out there again,
You’ll resume your place,
Next to me?