Thursday, May 04, 2006

First time on a skateboard in a long long time 

Yes, I am old. Yes, it's been a long time (somewhere in the 15-20 year range) since I've been on a skateboard. No, I am not yet limber and graceful as a male ballerina. Stumbly, bumbly, that's me.

Regardless, after my long nap on Monday I ventured forth on the board to the Wild Oats several blocks away to pick up necessary items (cheese and kiwis). It was a rough and tumble start, to say the least. This board is much more pliant in the trucks than any board I ever had, making it easier to turn left/right without lifting the front of the board off the ground. This also tends to toss your balance (if you are me) side to side when trying to do anything. After many mutilated starts, bailings (no hitting the ground. I wasn't going nearly fast enough for that) and ugly 'boarding', I managed to get into a rhythm of sorts. Eventually, I arrived at the store. Unbruised, unscraped and with a highly cramped left foot.

A mixture of oddity and coolness washed over me as I wandered the store, board in hand. I was feeling a bit more 'Portland', which was nice. Until I walked out the front door. A couple dudes, also on boards, got to chatting with me and asked if I'd like to tag along with them for a 'good ride'. Playing it cool, I agreed, not wanting to break the facade of being un-poser. Our adventure started out innocently enough. Another friend of theirs had us grab onto his car (in the lot, fortunately, sos I didn't have to prove my incompetence right away by fumbling out of the lot) and he began dragging us up a large hill.

At the top, he pulled over and we coasted to the curb. The far side of the hill now facing me was quite a bit longer and steeper than the side we'd been dragged up. Nice pavement, few parked cars and no stop signs, it looked like a bomber's dream. I, on the other hand, felt my stomach clench and a kaleidoscope (who knew that was the technical term?) of butterflies took to the wing, quite agitatedly, in my stomach and upper torso. At first, I tried to beg off my participation "out of fear for the kiwis in my backpack". All I got in response was good-natured guffawing and comments about how funny I was. Damn.

I managed to set it up so that I'd be going last. My hope was that the driver would take off and I could hightail it (on foot) away from the scene while the others were on their downhill slide. No such luck. He stuck around, grinning, and even gave me a nice little push to send me on my way. He knew, the bastard.

Surprisingly, all went well. At first I rocked a bit from the looseness of the board; crouching down I grabbed the board with one hand, greatly steadying and straightening my descent. I was getting into it! My grin was smeared by a couple of large bugs and my hair whopped my eyes a couple of times, but otherwise it was awesome! Good speed, feeling of cameraderie with my new friends and excitement about my new toy.

Unfortunately, all was not roses. Or wide-open road. A car decided to pull-out in front of me right before the bottom of the hill and there was nothing I could do to avoid her. I hopped off the board but was moving too fast for my flailing feet to keep up. After a step or two I lurched forward and skipped off the hood of the car (the bum had stopped right in front of me, looking terrified)(this skipping was in the slow-motion typical of near-death events. Really adds to the rush, let me tell you!)(hell of a Bo Luke (the hotter Duke cousin) impression). My feet planted on the far side of the car but I was moving too fast to stay upright. Pitching forward I found myself going into a front handspring, vaulting off my hands back up into the air, after which my feet somehow landed on my still cruising board.

I wish I could say that I stayed on the board and cruised down to the accolades of my new buddies. That was not to be. My feet were still flailing and the board shot out behind me, pitching me once more in the direction of my face. Fortunately, I am a pro when it comes to falling (decades now, of practice) and after a brief slide, I went into a roll and came to a stop on my back against the curb.

To say the least, I was flooded with adrenaline. Up to my feet I hopped, in time to grab my board before it passed. Nary a bruise or true scrape adorned my glistening cuerpo, earning the everlasting praise of my buddies. Fortunately, I was also provided with a plausible excuse to walk home, keeping them from witnessing my true lack of grace.

The driver of the car was a sputtering mess and apologized profusely. I allowed her (very hot) to drive me home where we shared a slushy made from my kiwi remnants. I tried to tell her that I'd run across her on purpose, just to meet her (excessive adrenaline remnants). She didn't buy it. Her slushy was dumped on my head which she then pushed out the window, slamming it shut across my ears. Owie.

No, she did not agree to go on a date with me. I hate her!

"No, I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!"

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com