I’ll say that again in case you missed it: The track ended abruptly, in midair. It didn’t start again until about a hundred yards ahead and twenty yards below, as if we were meant to fly through the air and pick up the track again on the other side.

I wasn’t afraid, though. No, I was terrified. My heart turned inside-out and the screaming around me reached a deafening crescendo as we leapt off the tracks and started flying.

Or at least that was what it felt like. In my rational mind I was sure that we were still on a track that had somehow been erased from visual reality—I mean, no one would build a rollercoaster that flies through the air, would they? That’s insane. But my eyes were telling a different story, and maybe it was just the power of suggestion, but I certainly felt like we were gliding frictionless through the air.

Time stopped for a long, peculiar moment of exhilarating freedom mixed with a sense of impending doom. And then it was over as we hit the track on the other side with a jolt. The jolt should have bothered me, because it went against my invisible-track theory; but I was so happy to still be alive that I didn’t care.

I had a scant moment to catch my breath before we dove into another set of sharp curves that soon brought us back down to ground level and the end of the ride. My legs were wobbly as I stepped out of the car, but my body was pulsing with adrenaline and I couldn’t help but smile at still being in one piece. I looked around at my fellow passengers, who were similarly elated, and felt a pleasing sense of connection. Were I a different kind of guy, I might have started going around shaking hands.

Instead I decided to find a shady spot and have lunch. After a few minutes of recon I found a suitable location and had a seat. Feeling good about having made it through the rollercoaster experience without soiling myself, I unzipped my backpack and got out an apple which I dispatched with haste. I followed it down with the bread and cheese, which were pleasantly crusty and not as bad as it looked, respectively. To top it off I busted open the Tupperware and started in on the cookies, which were slightly soggy and tasted a little off somehow, but…they were cookies. I scarfed them eagerly and lay back on the grass to digest.

It had been an unusually eventful day already, and it was barely noon. I felt quite content for the moment just laying there, and it wasn’t long before I drifted off into an unplanned slumber.