Against The Wind

This morning when Trombone was in school I took Fresco for a walk in the wind and sun so he would fall asleep and maybe dream he was in Newfoundland in July (I hear it’s windy there). Among the usual suspects on Edmonds St. (construction workers, fruit market owners, hair stylists, etc.) I saw a woman on inline skates*.

1. People still do this? Maybe it’s because I don’t live downtown anymore but I haven’t seen someone on skates in a long time. Do people inline skate where you are? Do YOU inline skate?
2. She was dressed normally (if lightly) in street clothes. Jeans, shirt. No purse or bag. Not wearing, you know, yoga pants or whatever skaters wear. I seem to remember they wear Lycra & cropped shirts. Again – might just be remembering the Stanley Park seawall circa 2001.
3. She had no helmet. Which doesn’t really surprise me because there are a lot of people who don’t wear helmets. Idiots. Her long hair whipped around in the wind.
4. While she skated along, rather precariously, she was trying to get some kind of device to work, like a phone or a music player.
5. She was on the road. Not the sidewalk. The road. With the traffic.
6. She veered out into the traffic and almost got hit by a cement truck. I had to close my eyes.
7. I stopped in at a Waves coffee shop to get a cup of tea and when I came out I heard sirens. One ambulance and two fire trucks blasted around the corner and went up Kingsway.
8. But when I came around the corner, I saw the skater alive and well(ish) and waiting for a bus.
9. She had her headphones on and was grooving to the music.

Observing her made me really miss taking public transit.

* I originally wrote “roller blader,” but that looked wrong and then I wrote “rollerblader,” which also looked wrong and then, ridiculously, I performed a search and realized it’s a brand name and since I hate the brand-name-as-real-name-thing, changed it all to inline skater, which is not as compelling but is, at least, correct.

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