Clams On The Half Shell And Roller-Skates, Roller-Skates

“Don’t Be A Drag, Participate
Clams On The Half Shell And Roller-Skates, Roller-Skates”

I’m floating across the smooth floor, going round and round in a giant oval. I’m wearing my ‘San Francisco Riding Gear’ flare-legged jeans, purple spaghetti- strap tank-top, Bubblegum Lip Potion sticky on my lips, my wild red hair in a giant pony tail.

8th grade…or was it 9th? Doesn’t matter. But donning my white Reidell rollerskates with the yellow wheels and matching pom-poms affixed to the laces is how I spent so many weekends as a kid at the Beaverton Skate Center.

Why am I reliving this carefree memory? Because I need it. I need to get lost.

I wake up this morning to see this quote from the President of the United States: “…when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.  

“Good Times, These Are The Good Times
Leave Your Cares Behind, These Are The Good Times”

I see the boy I have a crush on. I glide by, trying to make eye contact, while acting uninterested. I am perspiring from a few dozen trips around the rink, but also from being shy and nervous about actually getting his attention. I have salty popcorn and Red Vines stuck in my teeth. 

The world is a shit-show right now. We are dealing with a global pandemic that is affecting millions of people physically, but it’s also taking its toll on our mental health. Who knew a virus could create such a political divide?

Now add to the mix continued, systemic racism, that not only lurks juuuuuust under the surface in most places, but can also lead to the death of people who don’t deserve it. How many more times do we have to hear that the person was pleading for their life? That they can’t breathe. That they will comply, just let them live. They ask for their mama. They ask for God to save them. 

“Good Times, These Are The Good Times
Leave Your Cares Behind, These Are The Good Times”

I head toward the divide in the bulkhead and step onto the dirty, stained carpet to talk with my girlfriends. Their hair perfectly feathered, sipping on slushies. We giggle about all the cute boys and gossip about the other girls. Out comes the small orange cones, and the announcer tells us to get on the floor for “4 Corners”. 

I wake up every day never forgetting I am being treated for breast cancer, during a fucking pandemic. My anxiety has creeped in after taking a back-seat to my battle. I only leave my house to go to the grocery store or hardware store with my husband, both of us ALWAYS wearing a mask. I wash my hands constantly, spray or wipe down every surface religiously. 

I run several times per week because it keeps me sane in what feels like a hopeless world. It helps me process. I am grateful I can still move my body in this way, after all its been through over the past 10 months. It’s during this time, as my body moves me forward that I get lost in thought. Sometimes about the future, sometimes about the past, thanks to whatever song has come through my running headphones.

“Good Times, These Are The Good Times
Our New State Of Mind, These Are The Good Times”

Post-script: If you are of a certain age, how can you NOT hear Chic’s ‘Good Times’ without thinking of the roller-rink?

One thought on “Clams On The Half Shell And Roller-Skates, Roller-Skates

  1. Pingback: Cancerversary – Run. Ride. Live.

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