Saturday, November 6, 2010


Remember the skating rink?  Couples' skate and relay races and doing the limbo on wheels?  I actually won the limbo once.  It was at a rink in Kentucky, visiting with Mom's friend, Martha Music.  She was a sort of godmother to me.  That rink had a wooden floor, which was new to me.  Our local Red Rink Rollerway had chipped bluish concrete with a raised red carpet rim all around the oval skate area.  This wooden floor was wall-to-wall, a skater's paradise. 

Other than the mandatory song for couples' skate, the roller rink was void of the social hierarchy I had become accustomed to at school. By 6th grade, I was clearly exempt from coolness and sent to struggle through adolescence on the sidelines of Junior High.  But, at the rink, I could still have fun.  Elizabeth and I used to go a lot, in my memory.  There were Honor Roll parties each 9 weeks, and Liz and I were always on the A Honor Roll.  Also, her orthodontist had a Halloween party for his patients at the rink once.  Liz and I dressed up as two alien girls from a series of short stories I had been writing, and she had been helping me with.  I cannot remember the girls' names, but I had based them on our perfect imaginary versions of ourselves, so we felt quite beautiful inside my tales of inter-planetary love and adventure.  Is it any wonder I prefer C. S. Lewis' space trilogy even over Narnia?  There is just something about the beautiful Venus.

Like I said, I was a pretty good skater.  Not amazing.  I won limbo once, but I seldom won the races, and I don't think I was EVER asked to participate in couples' skate.  But, I loved it.  I loved whizzing around the concrete and feeling like I could fly.  I liked turning backwards and awing the small children who watched me go past. I was confident at the skating rink in a way I never was anywhere else.  As a matter of fact, I made my first phone call to a boy from a pay phone at the skating rink. 

Today, I took David to a birthday party for a friend from his classroom.  On the pretense of being an involved parent, I promised him I would skate too.  In reality, that promise to David was my excuse to lace up skates again, many many years past my remembered-glory days.  I teetered across the carpet, touched the concrete rink, and then I was flying again.

David did not fare so well.  He mostly clung to the carpeted wall around the rink and tumbled over his own feet every six inches.  He was a good sport about his failure, laughing each time he hit the ground.  After a while, I moved him to a carpeted area to practice, but he decided to move onto the arcade in sock-feet, with some of his friends. I tucked our jackets and his discarded skates into a corner and gave myself permission to fly.

I am not ready to play limbo again or enter any races, and I sure did not join in the game of Wipe Out that was played just before we left, but I had fun. How often, since growing up, do I have fun?  Maybe I need to go to the skating rink more often.  Perhaps, flying is good for me.


1 comment:

  1. Oh I remember spending so many weekends at our local rink called Bobby's. I have so many great memories.

    Glad you had such a good time flying!!



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