Roller Skating

I just remembered once when I was on roller skates and it had been a few years since I’d skated. Getting going is one thing and going where one wants to go is quite another. So is stopping. I was coming up behind a small child and I was going faster than he was and I couldn’t do a thing about it except catch him under his arms and take him with me, all while telling him, “It’s OK, Honey. I can’t stop.” I took him to the rail. We stopped. He was OK. I was embarrassed.

Another time when I was in the 9th grade, the school had a skating night for us. They had one night reserved for each of the four high school grades. My parents took me and, boy, was it crowded. They were sitting on the bench by the wall watching everyone when they decided they wanted to tell me something. Of course, that meant they had to get my attention and the worst thing that could happen is that they would get the attention of the entire 9th grade while fussing at me for not getting there fast enough. I didn’t have to worry about that. I took care of it myself when I tripped about 1/4 of the kids who were there, by cutting across the crowd. Yep. I did that. Biggest people pile up ever. And I was at the bottom of the pile, which was also the front of it. It went on quite a distance.

Then there was a certain song they always played at the skating rink, and I fell every time they played it. It became my goal to stay standing without grabbing the rail while “Rub it In” played. It’s an old song about someone putting sunscreen on someone else. It’s a long 2 1/2 minutes when you’re trying to stay vertical and not land suddenly on your own sacroiliac. And the beat is hard to skate to. Excuses. I know.

With absolute amazement, I watched those folks who could dance around the rink on their skates. I was doing good to cross my right foot over my left to make a turn. And not knock anyone else down while doing it.

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