Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ordeal By Rollerskates

Sometimes I have those moments when everything that I had never done when I was young (and by young, I refer to the 6-10 age bracket), I do in a single day. 

Yesterday was such a day. I emerged from the rock that I had been living in, in my seventeen years of existence, and had entered one of those quaint little photo booths in an very-busy, very-claustrophobic, elevator of an arcade. Also, I had put on my very first rollerskates - which were borrowed. Yuck. Plus I wasn't wearing any socks because I didn't wake up thinking that I would be rollerskating that day. Yuck-er. 

So I tentatively put on those bacteria-infested, cheap suede ankle boots on wheels, very much aware that I could well take my foot out of them with hepatitis, or some form of scabies and/or an STD. But my hygiene-related fears were soon extinguished because a whole other, even worse fear had arisen. 

I was so much engrossed with freaking out about the possible health-related repercussions of putting on these loaned skates, that I did not, in the slightest, think about the embarrassing fact that I could NOT rollerskate. Stepping into that rink, I no longer cared if my feet were covered with pus and/or scales, post-skating. I cared more about NOT falling on my ass, keeling over and dying - perhaps the first person ever to die on rollerskates. And I was unwilling for the world to remember me just as that.

I had my moments of panic. There was a moment where I was very close to running over this five-year old (who was excellent at skating btw), and there was one where I could not figure out how to slow down - or more importantly, how to stop. Despite all of these stroke-inducing moments, there was a self-realisation that I had, that, in retrospect, over-shadowed those multiple near death experiences.

Somewhere in between those 45 minutes of horror, gasping, breathlessness, severe dehydration, and permanent blushing, I realised that the reason why I had embarked on that semi-suicide was because I was trying to make up for the fact that I never did those things in my childhood. 

Not for the first time, I thought about this theory that I have - that I would grow up, being one of those people who are perpetually wishing to be younger, because sub-consciously, they feel that they had incomplete childhoods, and have unsatisfied lives.

Maybe my body's way of compensating for the incompleteness of my childhood is by forcing me to do things such as roller skating and  photo booth-ing. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe my mind is making a secret "What to do before I die" list and now, rollerskating and photo booths have checks beside them. Maybe I am two checks closer to that elusive state of happiness and contentment, that seven hours of yoga a week doesn't seem to be able to reach.

My fingers are perpetually crossed and my toes are perpetually sore.

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