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Roll On

I used to never be up early on Sunday mornings. Then I switched shifts with another dealer at the casino. After you've been up all night, a Saturday night, dealing cards to savages, you need to unwind before you can even think about sleep.

I live downtown right across the street from a funeral parlor, a nice one. They just had their parking lot resurfaced. The kids can't resist. The black asphalt is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. I sit out on the upstairs porch and watch them doing tricks with their boards. There's a ramp where the stiffs are delivered. It has a pair of a long rails that the daredevils use. Those guys are nuts. They don't give a shit how many times they wipe-out. They get back up and take another shot. Watching them, I started to think about all the things I've let slide because I wasn't willing to put in the time to get it right. I faded out on soccer. I faded out on the guitar. I faded out on Cherise and Amy and Vivian. I even faded out on the cards.

One Sunday, there was just one kid doing his thing. I recognized him, the best of the bunch. He'd brought along a girl, lithe and gangly with a long blond ponytail running between her slender shoulders. He showed her some tricks and nailed them all. She stepped away and he began circling her on his board, crouched like a surfer in a tube. Finally she waved goodbye. He didn't even watch her go. He went back to practicing.

On the Monday, I signed up for guitar lessons.

Story by:

Timothy Dugdale

28 July 2015