A Carousel From HELL

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Fear. It’s a small word, just 4 letters, but it encompasses so much. The word itself brings with it an uneasy feeling that everyone knows and recognizes immediately. We all have fears and sometimes just talking about them can be a very scary and intimate thing. But I aim for transparency with this blog so I’m going to share with you mine. Deep breath, here we go.

I’m fine with heights. The bigger and faster the roller coaster the better, I’ve even jumped out of an airplane once (kind of over-rated, I was expecting more). I’m told “young people” think they’re invincible and nothing can touch them. I guess I have a little bit of this sentiment when I walk down a dark alley or drive in a snowstorm. “U can’t touch this”.

But today I witnessed one of my worst fears unfold right before my very eyes.

I commute into Manhattan everyday during rush hour. The hustle and bustle of the city was glamorous and exciting during the first few months, but it’s quickly lost it’s magic. The music coming out of my headphones and the route to my destination are all that I am paying attention to…until today.

If you’ve been to Manhattan, and I’m sure any other big city, you’ve seen revolving doors. They’re a very common sight on pretty much every building. Now being a Westchester gal, I thought these kinds of doors were just for fancy hotels and movies. We have regular ol’ doors that you push/pull round these parts or the automatic sliding ones. Revolving doors? No, pish posh.

But Marge ain’t in Westchester no’ mo’ This is the big city, a place for big city livin’ and big city revolvin’ doors.

Now before this is seen as an attack article against revolving doors, I want to make it very clear that I personally have nothing against said revolving doors. They’re great; very handy. You don’t have to sit there holding the door open for people and suffer through those “in-between” moments where somebody is kinda far behind you but kinda not and you’re not sure if you’re obligated to stand there holding the door and wait for them or if you can just keep trucking along, pretending you didn’t see them.

With revolving doors, all your problems are solved! You just zip right in there and just as fast as you went in, you’re out. You’ve broken the barrier to the inside…or outside depending on which way you’re going, and you’re free to keep on trekking along your merry way without missing a beat. That’s what New Yorkers see.

However when I see these potential death traps the only things that go through my mind are those of horror. What if it gets jammed somehow and stuck? Crazier things have happened. Now you’re enclosed in this little tiny case with no room to move your arms or legs. Even if you can survive the overwhelming claustrophobia there’s no telling how long you’ll be stuck in there. A girl could starve to death in there waiting for a hero to come free her from the glass jail.

But the speed of their rotation is the real terror. It’s like a carasoul ride from hell (#namedrop). Some of these suckers top out at speeds of at least 100 mph if I had to guess. You walk up to one and it’s whippin’ around so fast, all you see is a big blur as your hair moves with the breeze the force of the spin is creating. You take a breath and hop in, your heart palpitating as you spin around that puppy and out. Phew, made it. Another game of Russian Roulette won.

You may say this fear is completely ludicrous and irrational, but today I saw first hand that I am in fact, fully validated in my fears.

I’m walking behind Mr. Businessman on the sidewalk. It’s just a regular morning. I’ve got the soundtrack to “Mamma Mia” in my ear and the sun is shining. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a pretty OK day. He turns right to enter my building. The revolving door is in front of him but it’s moving faster than usual. It’s got a little extra pep in its step today and Mr. Businessman isn’t factoring that into his plans.

I see him take that little run hop that I know means he’s gonna go for it. There’s nothing stopping him. The guy must think he’s invincible, there’s no way he’s gonna make it.

You know how when people describe near death experiences and they say the world just moved in slow motion. Well, I can now say, I know exactly what they mean. Everything slowed to a glacial pace. No sound. I look to my left; nobody is paying attention. I look to my right, it’s a brick wall…no help there.

The man is just inches away now. I open my mouth to scream, to warn him, to do something! But… it’s too late.

Mr. Businessman squeezes half of his body into the door…the other half isn’t so lucky. He’s SLAMMED into the beam. His glasses knocked off his face as his head hits the glass of the door. A single drop of blood falls from his forehead and he looks at me with pain in his eyes. The world is quiet. Surely this man has suffered permanent brain damage. His arm must have been chopped off, being held in only by the tied cuffs at the wrists of his shirt. He’s probably having a hard time breathing with the cracked ribs and the lung he just undoubtedly collapsed. But this guy’s a trooper…some may even say a hero.

Like any true New Yorker, he composes himself immediately. He swiftly picks up his glasses and gets in  the door, walking briskly around to the other side. He disappears into the building, and just as fast as it all happened…it was all over. I look around. Nobody has noticed a thing. I’m left there all by myself on the sidewalk; forced to replay over and over again what I just witnessed.

Mr. Businessman might have been able to shake off what happened in an instant. But I certainly wouldn’t.

And to be honest with you guys…I don’t know if I ever will.

I welcome you all to share your fears, whether about doors or not. Talking about them can help you conquer some of your demons. Don’t be shy. Let’s heal together.

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