Skater in the Mist

Sunday afternoon, turkey eaten, thanks given, houseguests packed up and gone home; I tossed my gear into the trunk of my car and headed out to skate off excess consumption. I arrived at Marymoor Park a little after 4pm. Not much daylight left. I had the Slab, a vast expanse of asphalt used for concerts, circuses and special events, all to myself. A light ground mist hovered over the adjacent soccer fields.

I began to skate, the sun began to set. The pavement was damp from a light drizzle, but there were no puddles to speak of. I was careful at first with full leg extensions, but my wheels did not slip.

The clouds turned pink.

I practiced striding and gliding, following no particular routine, just relishing in movement. In the cooling air, the nearby mist began to thicken, swirl, rise up and glow under the halogen glare of the soccer field flood lights.

I swizzled forwards and backwards. I toe-rolled and spin-stopped, crossed over forever. As light faded, the mist began to advance stealthily over the Slab. Soon I could no longer see to the far side. Now I sped up and carved through it, became surrounded by it as though at the center of a spotlight swinging and swooping over an enormous stage with everything beyond my tight circle of visibility cloaked in fog. I thought of Saint-Exupéry’s pilots flying through Andean storms, searching desperately for clear skies and runway lights.

It was nearly dark. I heard a few geese honking in the distance.  Though I searched the sky for their distinctive “V” I could not find them. Instead, I saw the bright crescent moon, newly risen, with Venus and Jupiter hovering just above. The mist could not obscure their brilliance as I skated for home.

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