From The “She” Stands Alone, a Romantic Comedy
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. Waste of a good nail, Sheridan. Rookie mistake. Everybody knows you’re supposed to open those parcels with your teeth.”
I was about to express amusement at his remark, but I choked on the chortle as he returned to his truck. Did he…wink at me, before he turned back around?
That Saturday afternoon, I went out skating, as planned, not to any corny barbecues. (No offense, God bless and more power to the brothers and sisters who did gather together to barbecue that day, amen.) I pushed out into the lively rink with gusto, feeling all kinds of cute in my little leather jacket, nearly knee-length skirt, and vibrant leggings, but it took me less than a minute to find out that I was rusty on wheels, being out of practice. Refusing to yield myself to a beginner’s look, however, I did my best to make it appear as if every sudden jerk and flourish of mine was intentional, and my faking it paid off. About four songs in, I had my old rhythm back. Hence, backwards and forwards I zoomed around the rink, letting loose to the music as much as I pleased, and after a while, I was drawing the notice of other skaters, some of them openly laughing towards (at?) me and others of them hooting and cheering me on.
I laughed as well when I became aware of my audience. Yet, I felt heat creeping into my cheeks, my laughter ending on a thin squeak, my dance moves fizzling down. It was one thing to make an exhibition of yourself in the middle of your animated group of friends who were all doing it together, but it was another thing to make an exhibition of yourself by yourself, when your own name was the only one you knew in the place. Besides, when I came to think of it, I couldn’t remember exactly how old I was the last time I’d done the whole “wacky” thing on roller skates.
Not wanting anyone there to get hip to the sputter in my mental motor, I kept on skating for a while, throwing a random groove in every now and then to save face, but when the strobe light burst on, I figured it’d be the best chance for me and my face to get out of the rink without many of my audience members seeing me take off.
I drove home in the rain, managing not to slip in my boots on the driveway pavement when I hopped out of my car. I jammed my hands into the pockets of my jacket and clicked down the path to the house, stopping for a second to look across the street, hearing the faint drone of a drill or something, coming from over there.
It wasn’t the first time I’d ever heard a mechanical sound buzzing from over that way, but, still…
Is this young woman’s dateless predicament unfixable?
The “She” Stands Alone