I've been desperate to go rollerskating ever since we moved back to the U.S.
Is that weird?
If you think so then you probably didn't know that as a child I was a rollerskating fanatic. My friends Christina, Cathy and I were down on the Mei Foo podiums in Hong Kong probably every day after school, doing nothing but skating.
For us, there were two kinds of skating.
The first involved speeding away from security guards who screamed threats at us and ran after us waving their arms. We always pretended we couldn't understand their Chinese or their broken English. Even "No, no, no!" had us looking wide-eyed and innocent.
We'd skate right by the sign that said, in English: "No roller skating, biking or skate boarding." With pictures. Yes, we were naughty kids.
When we weren't skating away from guards, when we found a quiet, wide-open podium with a smooth surface, we'd make up dances. Individual rollerskating dances. That was the second kind of skating. And we'd sing songs as we danced, providing our own music. I still remember how free it felt to fly across the tile of the podium garden, the wind against my face, singing a song nobody else could hear. I attempted turns and arabesques and leaps. I don't remember ever falling down.
Except for one time when I was trying to skate away from my sister, who had an annoying habit of shadowing me and my friends. That was the time I got my skates tangled up with Cathy's and we both came tumbling down. I think I landed on her, but I was the one who broke my arm. Thankfully she didn't get hurt; that would've been pretty unfair since we were trying to escape my sister.
Skating in the Prosser roller rink today was a bit different than skating on the Mei Foo podium. For one thing, there was a black light and disco ball. And music. Loud, thumping music. My kids were jerking around the rink on their little skates, falling over. And I was like speed-racer, competing against myself.
I think I scared my seven-year-old niece. She told me, "Aunt Amy Lynn, you're going too fast. You need to skate in the middle. That's where you're allowed to go fast." She pointed at about ten orange cones set up in an oval in the middle of the rink -- about five square feet of rollerskating space. I was not about to be relegated to skater-prison, so I pointed out that I didn't think I was going that fast. She conceded. But I noticed she didn't come out on the floor much after that. When she did, she held fast to her mom's hand.
I'm sore tonight. Already. I guess that just shows how long it's been since I last donned roller skates. It also may be what I deserve for terrorizing innocent children with my insatiable need for speed. Or maybe it's payback for all the stress I caused those unfortunate security guards all those years ago; after all, they were only doing their jobs.
But it was so much fun coasting around the rink, so relaxing to let my mind wander back to those carefree days on the podium when my skates were laced up and my wheels click-clicked over the grooves in the concrete.
Maybe I'll make rollerskating at the Prosser roller rink a weekly habit. Some hobbies just die hard.