All I can tell you about the picture is that it’s perfect in every way. It is perhaps the only known photo to carry every single human emotion on the face of the Earth. It is splendid with exhilaration. Oozing with terror. Overcome with joy and speaks to an infinite sadness. Every time I look at it, I have a hard time remembering anything else that happened that day; there is only this moment.
Let it be known, I did not know I was going to do this prior to stepping in line. It was a spontaneous reaction to a complicated thought bubble as we rolled over the last hill. The girl next to me, let’s call her Skeeze, (to protect her identity I did not use Elizabeth’s real name because she wishes more than anything that this picture would go away. But every year I have to remind her that awesome doesn’t go away, awesome gets awesomer). Anyway, she did not want to go on this ride and as a result had been screaming the whole ride - - THE WHOLE RIDE.
By the time we stepped off the ride, a crowd of eager adrenaline junkies had gathered at the photo kiosk. People were gawking and cringing while others were mad their faces had been cut off, but over in the corner, an event was happening. A horde of sun-blistered faces were pointing and laughing, laughing and pointing, laughing and… laughing at something. I had an idea, but really - - I had no idea. The butterflies that had been filling my tummy were unleashing a euphoric feeling of accomplishment. Little did I know, we were about to stumble upon one of the single greatest picture in the history of time - - A frozen moment, which would forever change the landscape of our lives.
I thought about the implications this could have. I thought about all the great works of art: American Gothic, Afghan Girl, The Sistine Chapel, that pizza from a Norwegian bakery circa 1996, and Nicole Kidman between Dead Calm and Moulin Rouge. I thought about how this could benefit future generations of… whatever?! Most of the onlookers saw a slice of Heaven that day. Others saw a missed opportunity, but for the six of us it represented everything great about our friendship. It was security. And confidence. And love. It was a sweet slice of life taken on a ride that specializes in pants crapping. This picture says a thousand words and each word is perfect. For nine long years this picture has been treated as folklore in the circles we share. Seen occasionally, but talked about often, I’ve decided to unleash it for all. It has to be out there for everyone to enjoy. Please take good care of it.