Mom takes me to Mental Health Land because she thinks it will help. I shit you not, that’s its name. It’s like any other theme park for the most part—there are rides and games and food. Really, they have anything to put you in a good mood so you’ll stay awhile and spend your money. My therapist told her it might be a good idea, so she packed me and my little brother in the car and her boyfriend, Eddie, drove us all down the highway towards the turrets, rollercoasters, and bright flags emblazoned with smiling children and adults standing high over the park.
She tells us to meet her back at the Bipolar-Coaster around noon for lunch while she and Eddie head off to the Natural High, a tracked ride that only goes up before leveling off and looping back to the boarding station, but a few floors higher. The irony rests in the long walk down the multiple flights of stairs it takes to get back to the main park. When I pointed this out to her she said she’d enjoy the extra exercise and that her thighs have never looked better. Eddie winked at me as she said this, and I had to hold in the urge to vomit. I watch as Eddie and my Mom walk off, Eddie’s arm around her waist, and listen to the screams of the riders gliding down the Bipolar-Coaster’s second steepest drop. My brother stands silently beside me watching the cars climb the next hill before their plummet. At the end of each ride there’s an educational video about the disorder they’re based off of. I did a lot of research about this place, but it hasn’t made coming here any easier.