Roll or coast. Her.

He wasn’t sure how things had ended up this way. Come to think of it, how they started down this way either. He did know that she had most of everything he could ever bring himself to think of without thinking of the things she didn’t that he probably wasn’t sure he wanted or was even genuinely thinking of, anyway. She had spider limbs, big lobes, and wore tennis shoes instead of sneakers to school. She ‘got’ David Bowie, knew three words to the song “Hold On” by Bon Jovi and didn’t realize it was titled “Living on a Prayer” even after the hundreth subtle explanation he tried to give. He could never think of her directly, but only in relation to other objects in the space around him. She was taller than he was unpopular, and didn’t believe in several vegetables. In a word, perfection.

It wasn’t really the remarks that other kids would make at the football games or indoor jai alai tournaments, but more the general color of their stares or the whisp of murmur about how the two weirdest creatures in the whole Catholic middle school had somehow found their way to each other and that of course this always happens, how else would God punish mankinf for its sin if not by magnetizing the loins of the unwanted to perpetuate their curse upon the earth. And space. Now you can believe in space, Catholicism wise, they would say. Through it all he knew it was her that would keep his mind together and stop the ghosts of all the pigeons he’d tortured from ruining his cereal just before the first bite, every morning.

But this morning, the morning they had finally set out to do the thing that had brought them together in the first place, didn’t quite fit the narrative he’d been scrawling out for himself in the ink of his snot upon the used toilet paper of time. The Lover’s Dip. The only ride in the whole town that required you to have a partner to ride. His weird cousin Ray always refused to sit next to him on such a, and I invent, “queen mobile”, because he had “left his royal garter at home.” Which made no sense to him and which I myself have yet to come to terms with. Suffice it to say, he was simply ecstatic when, at long last, she had worked up the courage to ask him out and, his mind immediately thinking of the Dip, he made out with the side corner of her mouth on the spot, sealing the proverbial deal.

How could they know, from the slight intuition their passionate three days’ romance had barely afforded them, that their ride on the Dip would be the first to ever make the local news, 50 miles away, in the nearest city with electricity that was readily available? All he could do, as the cart sped violently down the creaking, snapping track toward the inevitable loop, the loop that had been all his failed shoe lacings, his incomplete homework assignments, the social rope that had bound his hands since birth, was see, as clearly as his lack of faith in an afterlife, the bovine ignorance of her dull irises and the smile of joy warped across the lower third of her head, and know, clearer than he knew anything else in his entire life, that whatever the papers said, his cousin would laugh.