Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simple times

My skates were a heavy metal with four wheels on each foot. I had a skate key which I kept on a very long, rather grubby, shoe string around my neck. You turned the key until the jaw-like toe end opened enough so that your foot could fit into the skate, with your sneakers on. Then you tightened it up again, slowly. You buckled the angle straps. Then you carefully stood up and started zinging across the pavement. Gathering speed until you could coast.. Coasting on smooth driveways, newly poured, was tops. But each type had its pleasures. If you were going fast enough, you could even glide over the occasional white rock driveway. The vibrations would go straight from the arch of your foot up your legs to your center. Sometimes I felt it even in my forehead.

The ultimate was getting over to the grade school where skating on a huge covered porch felt more like ice skating. I could do figure eights or race my friend with the brick wall as our finish line.

I remember using those skates in my childhood basement. My mother would be ironing in one quadrant, the clothes would be tumbling in another. The bulky ping pong table and my brothers collection of 'Three Dog Night' albums were part of my roller obstacle course. I'd zoom between the studs of the roughed-in (but never finished) bathroom, around the furnace, and when things got dicey, I'd roll onto the ancient area rug in one corner.

My mother's ironing smelled clean and the steam iron made a lovely hiss each time she placed it back on its butt end. I would rest a bit, then get back to rolling around in circles. Thinking about the open shower drain, or the freezer full of goodies on one wall. Thinking about my peace sign necklace that I treasured contemplating if it was perhaps time to switch to cartwheels in the front yard or perhaps a trip on my bike to the nearby convenient store to purchase a candy necklace.

Decisions. Decisions.


No comments:

Post a Comment