She called me her little roller coaster.

“Baby, life is sure good when you’re on the way up,” she would say with a half smile, “but then it gets real, real scary when you’re on the way down.”

I’d smile or shrug or laugh, maybe even apologize, because she only ever said things like that when times were good and it was safe for her to do so. She knew better than to mock me when the booze stood swaying at the controls of my thoughts and actions, like a foul-mouthed sailor at the helm of his ship. Well, she didn’t know before, but she only needed to make that mistake once.

I was her little roller coaster and I didn’t know how to stop to let her off the ride.