Well, how was it? Asked an excitable Shelley, wrapping her arms around Kate from behind.
I don’t know.
The two girls walked away from the Ghost Train like this, toward the swinging Pirate Ship.
What do you mean, you ‘don’t know‘?
I’d go on it again.
So you liked it.
It’s not as simple as that.
Kids ran around them as parents watched on, jealous of their energy.
Describe it to me.
Isn’t that why you went on it?
Yeah. But while I was on it, I thought as much about why we go on rides as the ride itself.
Shelley stared at her friend, her eyes narrowing. You’ve lost me.
Take all the rides in the middle of the park, the popular ones. Everyone likes them because you get exactly what you expect. That’s why they’re popular.
Isn’t it because they’re fun.
Yes, but you already know that. You’ve been on ones just like it and you’ll go on others like it again.
So you go on the Ghost Train because you don’t know if you’ll like it?
I go on them because they’re more, I don’t know, enigmatic. She said this almost apologetically, looking at her friend sideways.
Smiling at Kate’s unease, she lit a cigarette then passed it to her. Well what did you like?
The fact that it doesn’t just rely on a big build up, for a big drop. It’s more about momentum, building tension, atmosphere.
That I don’t always know what’s going on. There’s voices from the shadows, through gritted teeth, the music is always minor, discordant. Unsettling.
Sounds like the Pere Ubu you made me listen to.
In parts, but there are some moments that actually are quite sweet. Relatively speaking of course.
I know you won’t believe me, but I could swear there was an air of sentimentality I hadn’t felt on previous rides. It’s still frantic at times, you’re not meant to feel comfortable. But behind the masks, the stomping soundtrack and coded messages, there was a theme of celebration. In fact, near the end it went as far as encouraging you to let go of the rail.
How else would you get off?
No, before the ride’s over.
And did you?
So what was the point?
Because you were holding on out of instinct.
Well I’m glad you got what you wanted out of it. What do you say we go on the dodgems again, you can even drive this time.
Promise? As they walked further from the Train, Kate felt tempted to take one last look, just in case she saw something she wasn’t meant to.