The writer recalls working at a scandal-ridden theme park, and meets with other former workers to investigate his own memories:
“Matt and I laughed—a shameful admission. You know those hysterical giggles you get when a situation is so absurd, shocking, or terrifying that they’re more a form of damage control? The laughter boils up your throat with a fizzy club soda effervescence, impossible to tamp down, intent on releasing the poison inside you.
“I truly want to believe that’s what it was. Otherwise, it was just two cruel boys laughing as our supervisor kicked a dead sea lion in the head.
“The ice splintered. The sea lion spun on its axis like a compass needle seeking true north. We guided it from the freezer, its body skidding awkwardly down the ramp and onto a concrete platform set above the Barn’s floor. Rod backed up Big Blue, an ancient stake truck retrofitted as a trash hauler, until its bumper nearly touched the platform. Then we slid the sea lion into the bed.”