The metaphor that life is one big roller coaster is such an overused and oversimplified bullshit cliché. The thought of a roller coaster provokes images of screaming, fanatic, brazenly joyous people incapable of closing their big, sloppy smiles because everything is so goddamn great. The exhilaration is captured on camera for everyone to see and at the end we pant like newly fed puppies, eyes shot open like frogs begging for another trip around. The problem with the metaphor is that every part of a roller coaster ride is fun, even the drops, especially the drops. Sure, it’s a wild, unexpected ride that some of us aren’t prepared for, but the whole experience is a blast. The part of the ride that resonates most in the metaphor is the initial climb upwards; the grueling feeling of torturous anticipation. That is life.
Or life is one long, brutal road trip. It has handfuls of absolutely perfect moments, but in the end, when you arrive at your destination sleep depraved and hungry, everything is kind of underwhelming. You shift the car into park, let down your shoulders, and if you’re lucky you turn to the right and look your lover in the eyes and smile because she’s scared too. But at least you’re scared together.
And along this strenuous road trip we all encounter traffic cones placed in strategically annoying places; these represent most of the people that enter and exit our lives. At first their fluorescent orange exterior offers comfort and companionship as you hunch over the wheel, slapping yourself in order to stay awake, searching for anything unique among the blackness. Then sadly the cones start to become a nuisance, an attempt to slow you down when you feel a second wind coming and you’re determined as all hell to keep going. Every now and then a cone will point you in the right direction. Every now and then you’ll doze off and strike one of these cones-- some of them will clutch to the bottom of your car and hang on for dear life, killing your pace and reminding you how few mistakes each of us is given. Others will collapse underneath the frame and cling to nothing, falling off harmlessly. You must respect every cone you pass but stay focused. The path to satisfaction is a fucking minefield.