Sunday, November 02, 2014

Ides of Autumn Ritual

This October 31, the forecast for one-hundred-percent rain panned out; instead, it was a clear and dry night, and a half-moon rode the sky toward the west.  This called for RollerBlades.

I went into the garage and got out the bag that holds my old RollerBlades, my fingerless gloves, and my wrist guards.  My gloves have seen better days:  one of them has deteriorated so much the leather palm clings only by a few threads and is held in place because the wrist guards holds it there.  I looked around briefly for some glow-sticks, but I hadn't planned ahead.

I 'Bladed up.  First I clasped my black and purple cloak; the black has grayed.  It's easier to put the cloak on before the wrist guards, and it's easer to get the 'Blades on, too.  Then I navigated the concrete steps of our front porch and launched down the driveway.

When I RollerBlade in the darkness, I have to expand my awareness for cars and for any tricker-or-treaters who may be coming up the street.  I have to feel the pavement underneath my wheels, and be ready to shift my balance away from whatever stick or crack or gravel threatens to spill me.   And my hair trails behind me, and the moon is above me, and the shadows move with me.  Gravity is my dance partner, and there are stars, like an audience in box seats all around.

When trick-or-treaters come by, I like to lean against our dark garage door, a shadow on a shadow in my cloak, and then roll forward silently.  There's usually that moment where they're not sure:  is this a machine or a person?   Unless they're really little kids, in which case I unveil the candy first and kneel down to their level.  This year there were some adults returning from a shopping trip, so I swooped over to them, candy bowl extended, and wished them a happy Halloween.

But there weren't that many visitors, so I was back on the street, rolling between an aisle of trees in darkness, looking up at the moon, wishing that I was at a spiral dance with other cloaked RollerBladers, swooping through the night halfway between the gates of Autumn and Winter.
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