We arrived at my daughter’s skating party shortly after sunset. The scent of the skating rink brought back unpleasant memories of my youth. My senses were overwhelmed with memories of sweaty kids, Jnco jeans, and 90’s music. The memories were unavoidable, as every skating rink in the world hasn’t changed a bit in thirty years. The same skates. The same games. The same everything. I asked the unenthusiastic teenage boy at the front desk for a size eleven in skates and of course they were out. Instead, I was given a size nine and told that the breaks didn’t work. I contemplated just sitting out and watching from afar, but my horrid wife demanded I skate with my daughter and her friends. I reluctantly took my skates over to one of the dirty tables and tried squeezing my extra wide feet into them. After a ten minute struggle and excruciating pain, I had finally gotten my feet into the skates and now had the impossible task of trying to tie the ten foot long laces. After knotting them five times, they were still hanging onto the floor but I was in no mood to deal with it.
I entered the floor of the skating rink for the first time in almost twenty years. I had lost most of my youthful balance and definitely didn’t feel comfortable. I tightly gripped the germ-infested wall, waiting for my sense of balance to return. Groups of junior high girls skated by me, shouting insults in my direction. I pushed myself off of the wall and immediately went into the splits, tearing a hole in the buttocks of my new khakis. I pathetically picked myself up and tried again. I was able to make it around the rink a couple of times before a five year old boy ran right into the back of legs. I jerked my torso backwards, screamed, “mother fuck,” and fell to my knees in extreme pain. My left knee began to throb and I was fairly certain I had torn my patella tendon for the second time in a year. The young boy picked up his glow sticks and left me there to rot. I crawled over to the exit ramp and tried to gather myself.
I eventually regained the strength to get up and try again. I asked my daughter if she wanted to skate with me but she gave me the finger and said, “gross, no.” I looked over at my wife and she was playing Skee-Ball with some tattooed douche bag. They took turns throwing the ball, both taking hits of their E-cig after every throw. I sadly sighed and headed back out onto the floor. I held on to the wall this time and scooted along while “Party in the U.S.A.,” by Miley Cyrus, played at full volume. I was officially the most depressed man in the universe. I began having deep thoughts about my own existence and what it all meant. I questioned everything I had ever known and wondered if it all had a purpose. I thought about the complexities of the universe, and pondered over the idea of a transcendent reality being responsible for all of it. My thoughts were so deep that I forgot I was skating and tripped over my laces, falling face first onto the hardwood floor. I knocked out my top two incisors. I cupped my hands under my mouth and skated off the floor. I had bled all over the place and the manager immediately asked all skaters to exit the floor. He came out and cleaned up the blood with two cheap napkins and a wet rag from the kitchen.
I rushed into the bathroom and rinsed out my mouth with water. I smiled in the mirror to discover the giant gap in my teeth. I looked like a goddamn jack-o-lantern. My wife yelled at me to come out of the bathroom and then scolded me in front of the other parents for, “ruining the party.” I stood tall while she kept screaming at me and was forced to drink quite a bit of my own blood in the process. I began to feel nauseous, but she grabbed me by the arm and forced me back onto the floor, telling me to, “make things right.” All of a sudden, just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse, the disc jockey put on, “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” by Notorious B.I.G. I instantly felt a rush of adrenaline course through my veins. Like some sort of inspirational miracle I began skating like a bat out of hell. My turns were crisp. My speed was mystifying. I whizzed by kids with incredible precision. I stole a kids glow stick and began twirling it in my hand. I also stole a light-up pacifier and inserted it right into the gap in my teeth. I felt great and began imagining I was back in junior high. I pictured myself in my Jnco jeans, an oversized striped sweater and my frosted tip blonde hair. I started crossing my legs in and out and my skating was graceful. A few of the kids stopped to watch in amazement.
What felt like an hour, was only about a minute. I had lost touch with reality and didn’t realize I still had a massive hole in my pants and was swallowing a lot of blood. I turned around and began skating backwards, screaming the lyrics, “I’m the D to the A to the D-D-Y.” I had lost my mind and everyone cleared the floor, out of confusion, but mostly fear. The disc jockey called out for me to exit the floor, but I ignored his request and began to skate even faster, twirling my glow stick around like some sort of goddamn baton twirler. As I sped up I noticed I was about to slam into the wall so I tried applying my breaks. Of course, I forgot my breaks didn’t work and my body hurled over the railing and onto a table full of birthday cake. My pants had ripped open more and had completely exposed my bare ass to the party goers. Kids began to scream and parents rushed over to shield their eyes. I slowly turned my head over and grabbed a piece of cake. I shoved it into my mouth, only to discover that it was fucking gross carrot cake. I started to sob uncontrollably and passed out right there on the middle of the table.