As the restraint came down over his head, Elvis tried to guess at the number of times he’d ridden Zippin Pippin. It had to be in the tens of thousands, but he was still enthused to go again every time it came to a stop.
The car crested the top of the ramp. Elvis could see sun starting to peak up over the horizon.
Down below, everyone one was long gone.
He’d rented out the park for the party and spent nearly all his time on the Pippin, ignoring everyone. The parties were just an excuse to stay up all night, he hadn’t been able to sleep properly in years.
The pills he took to wake up kept him up longer than he wanted to. If he took the pills they gave him to sleep, he’d need even more pills to wake up the next morning.
It was an endless roller coaster, just like the one he was on now. Every up lead to a gut-wrenching down. Every down lead to a neck-snapping up. And, just like the Zippin Pippin, it was one that he just couldn’t make himself walk away from, no matter how hard he tried.
The Zippin Pippin was an all-wooden roller coaster built in Memphis in 1912. It was moved to what would become the Fairgrounds in the 20s, and then became one of the central attractions when Libertyland was built. It was Elvis’s favorite roller coaster, and he would sometimes rent out the whole park to ride it uninterrupted. Just a week before his death, he rented the park for a party and rode the Pippin from 1am to 7am.