The Amusement Park



Automatic traslation from the original story in Spanish. Not checked manually

Today I woke up communicative and I would like, if you allow me, to tell you some experiences from my time here. When I was little, I loved going to amusement parks. The stronger attractions was that I most liked.

I still remember with emotion the first time they took me to Tibidabo. Also I wanted to go up to the Watchtower, to the Ferris Wheel, to the Flying Towers of the enormous Carousel and also on the Plane. My father accompanied me in the bumper cars, which were also a joy.

I soon realized that higher intensity attractions caused me great excitement, which made me feel more alive. That, deep down, is what gave me pleasure.

I also liked watching the Automata, but although I had fun with them, I didn’t feel the same excitement.

Years later when they opened an amusement park in Montjuic, I enjoyed it even more. There were attractions much stronger than those at Tibidabo. A roller coaster that had descents that, at that time, made your stomach rise to your mouth.

Or the Hammer, which was a compartment serving as the head of a hammer attached to a long mast that gave the device its name. It moved as such at full speed, leading to the cabin towards the ground, stopping abruptly for an instant before hitting it and back up again.


And many more that delighted, not only me, but everyone who climbed in them… except perhaps some parents, who due to the age of their children were forced to go up with them, without feeling much like it.

But well, the no more arose with the appearance of theme parks where attractions like the Khan Dragon took you at reckless speeds through a kind of roller coaster in which you were often upside down, in what they called “loops.” By then I already knew that what we know as adrenaline was responsible for the excitement I perceived.

Perhaps amusement parks were partly the cause of Epicureanism, which accompanied me for years.

Practicing sports with a certain risk such as martial arts, skiing, paragliding replaced in my youth, almost mature, the sensations that parks produced in me.

But time, relentless, changes things. The death of people important to me, by the law of life, began to appear. Health began not be so perfect. Becoming aware of the world around me was even worse.

Envy, pettiness, betrayal… leaders and politicians whose only ambition was to get rich and accumulate power, even if to achieve this they had to harm, starve or send to death, just to continue prospering, those who had elected them.

I realized that I would have to deal with illness, maybe even some war. That led me to renounce a fundamental part of Epicureanism: I began to feel fears… of illness, of death, of the loss of the people who were part of my existence.

That led me to not enjoy it as much, since I even began to fear risk and that made it more difficult for me to experience pleasure.

Until I finally forgot the essence of this philosophy that had guided my life, in which pleasure is its only intrinsic objective, along with the concept that the absence of pain and fear constitutes the greatest pleasure.

Then the pandemic arrived and it further weakened my confidence in facing life, but even so, I continued setting myself challenges and that allowed me to continue until I was 103, when I had to leave… Well, I mean die.

You may wonder if I’m dead, how can I tell you all this… I simply want, to the few of you who read me, to share something that I know and you don’t…

Where I am now, everything is so perfect, great and bright that sometimes we need some stimulus, let’s say “less perfect.” On these occasions we can enjoy a weekend at an amusement park.

We have several to choose from, but for me and most of us, the one that attracts us the most is The Earth. Yes, I am referring to where you are now. Oh, I forgot so that you understand it a little better, one weekend of ours is equivalent to about eighty years of yours… Yes, a whole life.

If, we do it well, we get bonuses that allow us to prolong the stay a little and if, we do it wrong, we receive fouls that shorten the time of stay.

If you are able to understand it, you… Yessss… All of you are using this park and when your weekend is over you will return.

While you are there, you don’t remember anything I’m telling you, but when you return you fully enjoy the experience, with those imperfections that provide the pleasurable ingredient. Even the worst ones, when you remember them when you return, if you have interacted and fought to overcome the unpleasantness, they will give you pleasure.

You will tell me that what I say does not make sense since there are people who die very young or even as babies. This happens because from time to time, one of us can’t stand perfection anymore and, unable to wait for the weekend that corresponds to it, runs away.

Generally, in a few seconds, sometimes minutes and rarely hours, they are located and forced to return…

Of course, in your time it could have been hours, days and even some years. Furthermore, these cases help others, for example, the parents of the baby, child or young person who has to leave, get their dose of suffering.

But I repeat, here where I am now life is very good, although the truth is that I am already making plans to make the most of the next weekend when I have to go to an amusement park.

I remember with special affection, the first weekend that corresponded to me. I was lucky enough to be chased by a Tyrannosaurus rex… In fact, years later I ended up killed by a pterodactyl. It seems that I must have done something wrong, because I didn’t complete the weekend, I had to return before even finishing Saturday…

I could tell you when I played a gladiator, but I think I’ve bored you enough… See you next weekend… Until then, suffer as much as you can. Then the memory will help you enjoy an exciting joy… Kisses and hugs.

The Amusement Park – Short stories series – Copyright ©Montserrat Valls and Juan Genovés

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