In summer I’m brakeman—well, ‘brakewoman’—on the old roller-coaster. I lucked onto the job, right time and right place. Clocking on late one morning the shift controller said, ‘you worked the Dipper.’ Henderson had called in sick. Drunk more like, but he was a good brakeman and he’d taken me up a few times. So I nodded and got the gig and Henderson’s bender turned bad so I kept it.
The thing about brakeman is trust. Trust and timing. You get your timing wrong and the whole train gets stuck up top and that’s when stuff goes bad. People remember they’ve got a thing about heights.
Plenty of fellas have been impressed. It takes a good wrench on the grip to take the cable. I give ‘em the whole show, surfing the curves, rolling with the plunges. No fear. And when they say how about it I say, ‘not tonight, but thanks,’ or I give them a dodgy phone number and they go away happy. It’s all about trust and timing. Being brakeman I’ve got plenty of choice. There’s no hurry. I reckon I’ve got one more year then onto something easier. Tunnel of Love, perhaps.