Thursday, February 20, 2014

'70s and '80s disco is alive and well at the roller rink

The kid was invited to a friend's birthday party last weekend at a local roller rink. As soon as we pushed past the double doors I was taken back. Flashbacks to my one-time roller disco outing at the Roxy in New York.

I had never been roller skating (I had a deprived youth), but loved to go out dancing and my friends at work convinced me that go to a roller disco would be the perfect combination. I'll try anything once, so I agreed and went with my co-worker Duane from Canal Jeans. The interior of the Roxy was pretty incredible, and I was overwhelmed by the booming music and flashing lights. Duane and I got our skates and headed for the floor. And then reality set in.

Hell, even Andy could skate (from Dylan vs. Warhol)

Everyone was very nice (and very gay) but after a while I just felt that I was becoming an impediment — literally and figuratively — my prone body constantly and consistently spread across the floor, or next to the railing. I quickly had to accept that although the gods had given me many great features — a ready wit and love of animals, just to name a few, when the ability to stay balanced on skates was being assigned I must have been distracted or standing in another line. C'est la vie.

My misadventure with roller skates is not actually a bad memory. It's even a fond one. At least I had the guts to try, right? That whole evening flooded back, aided by the pulsing sound system, as I watched my almost 10 year-old daughter inching her way around the edges of the rink, holding onto the railing for dear life. She made it around once, and finally exited, tears of frustration in her eyes. I thought she did really well, as she only fell three times on this, her very first time on skates. Maybe the next generation would get to redeem the previous one. But that's not how she was seeing it at the moment.

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After she got the skates off she began to feel more and more deflated and asked if we could leave. Although there's nothing I'd like better than to check out early from a kiddie party, I thought she should stick it out at least until they cut the cake. Plus they were playing KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)". Uh huh, uh huh.

The birthday girl at that moment decided to get off her skates and open her presents and the party got a little more earth-bound. The kid was still over there as I'm writing this. I'm still sitting by the rink, watching the skaters, some of them looking as if they stepped out of my past, with mullets and tight tee shirts and fancy skating moves. So I guess we're here for a while more. They're playing the Village People's "Macho Man."

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