I was on the telephone with Rabid today. I told her that she was going to be mad at me.
She giggled, as though I were being naughty.
“No, really. You’re going to be mad.”
“What is it, then?”
“I’ve been skating.”
There was silence on the other end of this line. I waited.
She didn’t say anything.
I used to skateboard a lot, for several years. I skated everywhere. I went through quite a few skates, two destroyed under cars and one under a bus.
Yes, and, well, I broke a few bones. A wrist, a clavicle, a fibula.
Rabid and I weren’t dating when I did the wrist and clavicle on consecutive weekends.
We were dating when I did the fibula. She was there when I came out of surgery with my shiny new plate and eight screws. She was there, driving from Delaware to Philly to pack coolers for my bedridden self. For months. She was there, dealing with the irritability caused by the months of painkillers. Pushing me in a wheelchair. Lugging the wheelchair in and out of the car. Taking me to doctor’s appointments. Taking me, like luggage, on previously-planned summer vacations.
She is against me skating for some reason.
I thought I should come clean.
There was still silence on the phone, so I started in.
“I went to dinner with Srinivas down in Mountain View, so I skated to the Cal Train station,” I said chipperly.
“You didn’t.” The voice of doom.
“That was a little tentative, but then I skated from the train station to the restaurant and that was much better.” It had been seventeen years since I had been on a skate.
“You didn’t.” She didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm.
“I told Srinivas that you would be mad and he insisted on driving me back to the station. Took my skate away and locked it in his trunk until the train came. In fact, he was going to drive me all the way back but I claimed I wasn’t going to have to skate again.”
“Srinivas is a good friend.” Ah! Enthusiasm!
“But I lied. I skated back from the train station and it was excellent.”
“You didn’t.” Back to that again.
“Sure, I did. In fact, I still have the skate in my room. It’s on loan.”
“You’d better return it.”
“I can’t. The owner is away until Friday.”
That’s when things got bad.
She claims I’m on my own if I get hurt.
I know better.
Still, best not to provoke the Rabid Kitten. So, um, (almost) no more skating for me.