You're in the roller-coaster's front car...feel that gear chain catch beneath your feet...Your hands, already stretched high over-head, get thrown backwards from the forward lurch.

The train stretches, makes that noise couplings make. You're seat-back reclines, almost horizontal and the clanking sound rhythmic, like a clock ticking seconds before take-off.

Halfway up now, you can see the Gulf of Mexico from here, between two well-lit high-rise motels on the beach. Dark, foreboding, you know by the breeze: impossible to be the calm you experienced at noon. A calm the two of you had never seen before. A calm that brought real, absolute terror from below...the clacking clacked in perfect time.

Almost to the top, you turn to look at your girlfriend. She's watching you with white knuckles atop the hold-on-for-your-life bar. You give a wink and then see past her. Far below, amusement park attendants have a mop and bucket at The Rocket...Busy cleaning...It happens...

You smell vomit. The stench fills your nostrils ever so briefly...less than one clack. You know: just an aroma imprinted on gray-matter. Seeing had triggered a false detection. Your senses tuned, pegging out in a way you have never before experienced.

Your car levels off. You feel a bump from behind, pushes you over the top. The bump from behind and the gray suspends time. You're are not here. You're back on the pond-calm water, on the Gulf where death almost took you with a big gray bump.

A Bull shark, at least twelve-feet long came up from the blue to taste the side of a rented sunfish sailboat. You got knocked overboard, landed head-first on its back. Sandpaper skin raked your arm, made you bleed. It's thrashing tail slapped your forehead hard like a two-by-four, more blood.

She screams. She reaching out, wants your hand but you can only move in slow motion. Dazed, you look to see a dorsal fin circle back. She has your hand now, in a death-grip and pulls you aboard as if you weigh nothing. A shark as long as the sailboat circles slowly until a rescuer comes on a jet ski. He takes the two of you to beach no more than five-hundred feet away.

After the shore patrol and helicopter, the crowd and un-needed EMT's had all left, you're having a cold beer, listening to the dude who rented you the sailboat hit on your girlfriend. She gives you a wink. He's wasting his time. She loves you...This tall Irish lass with auburn hair and mystic blue eyes loves you heart and you love her.

You know she knows what's coming later tonight. You have already asked her mom and dad's permission. You'll stroll the beach together, barefeet sloshing through water, where macroscopic sea sparkles will sparkle their bright blue flashes. And when the moment is right, you'll go down on one knee and ask the girl of your dreams to marry you.

She screams. Right now, she's screaming on her weightless plunge to earth with you. You're hearing a different scream, one of pure excitement. The second drop approaches and she lets go. She reaches up, takes your hand in a grip, a grip for life. Eyes lock. You fall with her. You scream with her. You both know...Life is good...and love makes it one beautiful ride.