Even when we were on a skating hiatus during the fall (tried to explain to Roller DJ that things are just too busy for us during that season but he didn’t want to hear it, jerk), I still kept tabs on the roller rink through Facebook to see if any soul skates were going to happen. Because I’d drop anything for some fucking soul skate. Some of the best times of my life (read: 2011) happened on that rink, beneath the flashing lights and pulsating beats of “Roll Bounce;” it’s kind of romantic, actually. For three whole hours, Henry and I get along. Sometimes he even looks attractive to me.
Finally, Roller DJ sent me a Facebook invite for an upcoming soul skate at the end of February. I RSVPd without even looking at the date, to be honest.
When we pulled into the lot that evening, I let out a ridiculous “Yay, black people!” cheer, which made Henry cringe, but you guys just don’t understand how happy I was to see all the Rollers milling about out there. They are THE BEST SKATERS IN THE WORLD. They make me embarrassed for my fellow white people, the same way my reverse racism embarrasses Henry. Thank god I’m only 2% white.
Sometimes, during regular afternoon sessions, there is this awesome semi-scene kid who comes alone, with his own green-wheeled skates. He is a fast, adept skater and these are things I look for in potential mates, plus he seems like he would be open to listening to Dance Gavin Dance in the cemetery at night, something that is on Henry’s never-to-do list. When he showed up after us at adult skate, I could barely contain myself, tugging on Henry’s arm, squealing “I hope he asks me to prom!” in Laura’s face. I was also pretty smug because the last time I saw him, Henry argued that he was sure this guy was underage, but the fact that he showed up alone to adult skate made me confident that he is AT LEAST 18. Sure, I will probably be consumed with a bit of shame once we produce roller-babies together, but I’m sure it won’t last long.
I’ve done worse.
(Not underage stuff, though! Jesus.)
(This post is not going well.)
He was sitting behind me in the snack room, so I propped my phone up to make it look like I was taking a picture of myself.
“No. No. To the left. More. No, you’re still blocking him,” Laura kept saying, trying to coax my phone in the proper direction so I could snag an image of my new prom date to share with all my imaginary Internet friends.
“You’re the worst at that,” Henry grumbled, watching me with his furrowed caterpillar-eyebrows, lips bent up in his signature disapproving smirk.
Later on the rink, he whirled past me and I shouted to Henry, “I want to go ask him where his flute is!”
Thank god Henry is old and gets all my stupid 70s television programming references. This doesn’t mean he thinks they’re funny, though.
(Seriously, you have to see this kid from the front. H.R. Pufnstuf has got to be waiting out in his car.)
Henry’s rink ref bromance was there. His name is Paul and he’s actually a very nice guy, I just don’t get why he allows Henry to skate with him. I trailed them silently for a while, trying to eavesdrop, because what could they possibly have to talk about? Paul is a tangible majesty on wheels, leaving a trail of rhythm and skate-sex in his wake (you should see this man couple-skate!); Henry looks like Opie skating down to the creek to skip some stones before the Mayberry sock hop, leaving a trail of wedgie-inducing khakis and pocket protectors in his wake. I sidled up behind them but all I could make out over top of a 50-minute funk track was Henry’s HYUK-HYUK-HYUKing.
I like to do a Godzilla-dub of his laugh, making sure my jaw movements don’t match up with the hyuk’ing. Henry does not find this amusing.
Later in the night, we were talking to Paul about skates, since we’re both looking into buying our own. (This is a big, serious process! I don’t want to fuck up and get some lame pair that doesn’t accentuate my scene kid swag.)
“I just like to skate fast,” I yelled over top of the quaking speakers.
“Yeah, I know you do!” Paul shouted back emphatically, which made me proud that he noticed. So we talked about my options, and then Paul kept trying to convince Henry to give his skates a try.
“Maybe later!” Henry kept saying on a bed of sheepish giggles, like Paul had just pulled a string of anal beads out of his back pocket. Before the end of the end, though, Paul finally wore him down, and Henry thought he was the baddest cracker out there, gliding around in a pair of $1,000 boots under-lit with a blue neon track light. He bragged about it for days.
A gaggle of obnoxious honkies infiltrated the rink with their Valley Girl lilt and Katy Perry fan club membership cards. I knew right away that they were going to make the Rollers whisper “This is why segregation is sometimes OK!” They all looked like they stepped out of a 1998 Gap ad campaign, so basically imagine a gang of giddy Jannas. The ring leader was a ginger bitch wearing underwear on the outside of her jeans. (Laura overheard her telling someone she had lost a bet, but I could tell she was the type of person who thrived on the attention, good or bad.) There was something about her that immediately rubbed me the wrong way; well, yeah, there was the fact that she was a ginger (and not a good-looking one, either; but one plucked from the branches of the Bonaduce family tree).
The only good thing about their presence was that their sheer skating inadequacy made me look even better to the Rollers, I’M SURE. They just clomped around the rink in a tight group, stumbling and wobbling, having no rhythm and being white. I kept speeding past them, like I do, and I think Gingerpants was getting angry about it, because toward the end of the night, she suddenly broke away from the pack and passed me out of nowhere.
One thing to know about me is that I get easily up-in-arms. Sometimes (see also: 90% of the time) unrightfully so. When I am on that rink though, I get what I like to call skate muscles, where I really feel like everyone is out to get me and I am there to beat up the world. So when this ginger bitch smoked me, I didn’t take very kindly to it. Whether she did it intentionally or not (I honestly believe that she DID, though), this carrotbroad just threw down the gauntlet for a skate battle.
I skated off the rink and skidded to a stop next to Henry.
“DID YOU SEE WHAT THE GINGER DID TO ME?!” I exclaimed, arms akimbo, voice trembling with haughtiness. “SHE FUCKING TRIED TO RACE ME I THINK!”
Henry answered me by doing that thing he does to signify he’s exhausted by my antics, which is sighing wearily and running one calloused hand over his eyes.
“WATCH THIS,” I shouted as I skated back on the rink. She had rejoined her little suburban whitebreads; I dug down hard and picked up a good speed, turning to the side to skim between her and the wall.
She almost fell.
I couldn’t tell if Henry’s expression was one of shame to be associated with me, or one that said, “I’m gon’ bed that badass tonight.”
I was halfway around the rink, figuring that the battle was over, when I noticed a bright red beacon in my periphery; I looked over just in time to see Carrot Top’s illegitimate daughter glaring at me over her shoulder, like I’m her greatest enemy: The Sun.
“OH FUCK NO!” I shouted to no one and everyone, firing up my skates and passing her again. She never did catch up with me again, I don’t know if she gave up and or just succumbed to her melanin deficiency, but I noticed that she and her goof troop left the rink shortly after.
“I can’t believe that stupid white girl tried to race me, ” I scoffed later.
“You’re white,” Henry reminded me.
Only on the outside, my friend. Only on the outside.