Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shake It All About

Boy, does this bring back memories.

Katie and I headed up to Playland Skate Center today. It's been 22 years (I counted) since the last time I roller-skated; but once we got going, it came back pretty quickly. I think I might like to try it on a Friday or Saturday night, when there aren't quite so many small children peppered about the rink: weaving erratically, suddenly zooming across your path to the exit, skating in the wrong direction, or just flinging themselves prone directly in front of you, in the most annoying and inconsiderate fashion. Do you mind?! I'm trying to remain upright, here!

Sitting down for a breather, Katie and I marveled at one of the older skaters - probably not all that much older than me, actually; except that while I eventually abandoned the roller rink to go to school and start a career and raise a family, he seems to have stayed there. He was an amazing skater, flying, dancing and spinning, bounding through the air. "Oh my God," said Katie, her eyes following him as he zoomed past, "that is so cool. In kind of a sad way."

But why, really? I've been thinking of all the things I loved to do as a kid that grown-ups don't do; yet those things aren't really any less fun. When's the last time you climbed around one of those big elaborate wooden playscapes at the park? Or swung on the swings, or jumped on a trampoline? And I haven't played putt-putt since I was like 12. But it's fun!!! Why do we hardly ever do this stuff?

The roller rink, meanwhile, has clearly seen better days; the cement floor is chipped and rough in spots, and has at least four different shades of ice-white paint in different areas. The carpeting is ancient and grimy, some of the letters are falling off the outdoor sign, and there's a Ms. Pac-Man machine in the corner. And don't even get me started on the music: they didn't play "Bette Davis Eyes" even once. (I counted.)

Still, we had fun; my shins hurt from using unaccustomed muscles, but I think we'll be back, and hopefully bring reinforcements. I really need somebody to sweep the little kids out of my way before somebody gets hurt, because that somebody will probably be me.

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