THE RINK

I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be here. This hectic, disorganized mess of people.  Not just people, kids too. Skating in circles that took no more than fifteen seconds to loop.

Children darting around, going wrong directions. Slamming into the ice. Whole sides of them sliding into ponds of shards and water. It was almost as if everything moved in slow motion but with ridiculous chaos.

One part of the rink had literally turned into a pond. Literally. It was too much heat for the ice. Each time people would reach the brink of the pond they’d slow down, anticipating their doom of soaking jeans and aching sides.

The music was so jolly, too. Personally, I thought it was keeping them in some kind of frantic trance; that is what Christmas tunes do.

And then there were those pathetic ice skates. Bending peoples ankles like rubber. That was making me shudder, certainly not this fake cold they kept pumping out of the vents.  Come on, give me a break. It was sixty degrees outside. It’s Houston, what do these people want.

All I knew was I wanted to get out of this place. There were just so many people. No, too many.

I leaned on the railing studying the skating faces, looking for Ricky. This kid suddenly came right at me and splattered into the rail wall. I looked over at him. He had blue mittens and a sock hat on with stars, now soaked. With a big smile, he got back up with ice pieces all over his backside. The big, red head lady standing next to me, too close I might add, yelled at him, “What do you think you’re doing Tom!?”

He just smiled on back at her, beaming. “That was an awesome trick. Take a picture next time, ma.” And with that, he sped off.

“Christ,” I muttered under my breath. These kids are ridiculous.

I suddenly felt a jerk on my collar. I spun around to see Ricky’s goofy face.

“Why aren’t ya skating, John?”

I shook my head. “This is not ice skating. This is a battlefield.”

Ricky laughed. “I’m guess’n you’re ready to go.”

“You bet.”

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