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One Thrill or Another
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I mean, there’s the thrill you get when you ride Space Mountain for the first time at Disney World , and it is such a thrill that it literally knocks you flat, because you vomit (at least I did) when you get off the ride and end up lying down on the Ladies Room Floor! I lay there, quite flat, for a while, until my friend brought me a nice cold Coke to settle my roiling stomach. I couldn’t even go on the Mad Hatter’s Whirling Teacup Ride after that…and certainly no roller coasters.

My dear husband, meanwhile, was on his third (!) time around in the Tower of Terror…couldn’t seem to get enough of that queasy adventure. I’ve never been much of an amusement park ride gal.
I’m more the one who you see sitting over by the refreshment stand, writing in her journal, watching all the sticky kids go by with their exhausted parents looking like they wished they’d never had children.

Quieter thrills are more my speed: going slowly through a pile of good books, one on top of another next to my easy chair, looking out over the Bay, a Bay i don’t notice much anyway because I’m too engrossed in each of the wonderful worlds that open up between all those fresh pages. Reading thrills me. And i seem to be as affected by the stunning writing of the latest author as i was by the first i ever read, i am so enthralled with the writers’ magic. Good writing often lays me flat, figuratively speaking.

There have been a few thrills in my profession as a theater actress that knocked me flat, so that i would come offstage after the show and sit in my costume and make-up for a long time before i could gather the presence to get out of either. One such experience was during a show i did, first out of town then on Broadway, called QUILTERS.

QUILTERS tells the story of a family of pioneer women who were exceptional needleworkers and each scene represented a section of their journey West, with one magnificent quilt block after another for each scene.

The entire enterprise was taken from the real life stories of the women who handed down their quilts and their true stories from generation to generation. And one night, in the intimate theatre-in-the-round in Pittsburgh we were staging the show in, it felt to me…and it felt to me very very strongly, that as i was speaking one of my speeches down on the stage, ghosts of the actual women- notably of the woman i was speaking for – showed up at the top of each of the four aisles of the theater…i could sense them around me….I would have sworn i could actually see these ghosts – and my entire body was filled with a surge of a sort of electric energy I’d never known. It filled me from head to toe, and I practically floated through the remainder of the performance , (the ghosts having disappeared after that one scene)…so that i was left with a thoroughly spent body at the end of the show and I had to go lie down on my dressing room cot to catch what breath i had left in me! It was a magical thing…hard to explain to my cast mates, though i did try to share it with them later.

And let’s not discount the thrill of a good, body-cleansing orgasm! “Laid flat” takes on a whole new meaning.

I believe we are meant to be made humble in the presence of The Other, and if laying flat on one’s back is a form of bowing to the thrill , the ecstasy, the majesty of something larger than we are, then…well….I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Even if it does involve throwing up my lunch.

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