And I didn't mind when the trapeze bar was handed to me by one assistant because the other assistant placed his burly arms around my waist to keep me from falling.
As I stood there trying not to ponder the abilities of a human body to withstand a fall from this height, I fancied myself floating gracefully and twirling effortlessly from bar to bar, a modern day Georgina of the Jungle. Then came the commands from the teacher below, "Ready... Set..." And next he would soon say "Hup" - but I didn't want to hear the "hup" because "hup" meant burly arm would be gone, and it would be me, my death grip, a lot of momentum, a poor knowledge of physics but a keen understanding of what gravity does to a human brick. I didn't want to hear "hup" because I was ready to get down. I had been up the ladder, I had touched the bar, and I had visualized the dream. The need to live the dream had significantly subsided, but then came the "hup" and the dream, well it did not exactly become a reality... Sure, I was flying through the air, but forget that part about the greatest of ease. I thought oh my God, this is it, I am actually going to die, as I put my knees on the bar. Then came the next command, "Let go with your hands." To which I actually responded "I don't want to." The teacher repeated the command. I repeated my refusal. This went on for a while until I finally complied. I think I tasted my spinal fluid in the back of my throat.
But the best was yet to come. The command, "Let go" came from below and suddenly I rather liked it up there. In fact, I was quite comfortable. The rest of the class could go home now because my turn wasn't ever going to end, not if it meant falling to the net far, far below. And get this, I am supposed to fall on my back, leaving the staff plenty of time to unrig the entire set up as I descend to my death. So I decided to compromise: I would let go, but I was going to keep an eye on the net to make sure it stayed in place during my descent. Yep, face first, belly flop. And then, the worst drymouth ever, like worse than your worst morning after tequilla in TJ cotton mouth. But I survived. And I actually got the hang of it, pun intended. In fact, I even loved it!
The teacher must have confused me for some other student because he told me to get ready to learn how to "return to the bar." Now I've been to plenty of bars, and I'm always ready to go back, at least to the ones that will still have me... but this was different. I had leave my trapeze bar, cling to the "catcher" for one full swing, then let go of him while spinning around in the air to return to the first trapeze bar where I started. Everything was going as planned until the spin, that part where I'm no longer holding the catcher or the bar. And this is where my keen understanding of gravity kicked in - if I'm not holding anything, I just knew I'm going to fall - I'm smart like that - which is exactly what happened.
Forty five dollars, ninety minutes, and savoring the taste of internal organs while flying through the air... The most thrilling rush ever!!! I can not wait to go back to Richie's Flying Trapeze School in Woodland Hills!