Well, It's Official...
It has been sold to the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks to turn into a sports arena. And not the kind that will allow skating.
I had a lesson tonight, a special class focusing on stretching and holds. Next week, I have off for a week. The week after, I will skate on that gorgeous wooden floor for the last time.
How can I be sad over a stupid skating rink? I am, though. Cheesy as it sounds to say, freestyle rollerskating--and Ms. Jackie, my teacher--saved me in a lot of ways when I was younger and hopelessly geeky and hopelessly insecure. I am still hopelessly geeky, but I've grown a spine in the last fourteen years, and a lot of that had to do with Ms. Jackie slowly proving to me that I was not a worthless freak, after other teachers and peers had spent the prior five years convincing me that I was.
I was talking to Shannon tonight; she is one of my teammates, the best skater I know, and relatively close to me in age. As the two old married ladies, we tend to hang out and talk. We both remember a time before rollerblades when kids still skated and going to Skateland Putty Hill was such a treat. She admitted to having her first kiss right over in the corner. I remember being a Girl Scout for a year (just to go to horse camp, which ended up really sucking), and we would always have our parties at Skateland Putty Hill. I had secretly looked up to this eccentric girl in one of the other fifth grade classes, and she was in my troop, and we skated together during couples, holding a scrunchie between us instead of hands because she was afraid of looking gay. Silly? Yes. (And sadly homophobic too, though we were only ten at the time and certainly didn't know better.) And when I started freestyle skating, it was some distant dream to skate on the open wooden floor all by myself at Skateland Putty Hill. Well, I did that in June. If this was a novel, I'd say that was a fitting conclusion to my fourteen-year freestyle career.
I don't know what will become of us. I think that Ms. Jackie is trying to find us a new home, but skating rinks are closing and being torn down and replaced by sports arenas all the time now. There are very few places left to rollerskate. There are even fewer that offer freestyle programs. I could return to White Marsh...but no. That program soured me so much, and even though I know that the teacher is different and more motivated, it will never compare to Ms. Jackie's program. (And the floor is terrible. I've become spoiled.)
I'd intended to take off this autumn from skating because of dive training, but I'd hoped to go back eventually. Poopy.
I rather wish this was a movie. I could get all of the Freestyle Fanatics together, and though we are mostly mediocre skaters, we would have enough heart to put on a show so spectacular that people line up around the block to see it and raise enough money to buy back the skating rink from the county, and everything would end happily. Heck, while I'm living in Fantasyland, I might as well write myself doing a triple jump into the script.