So here I am in the middle of transitioning myself from a part-time job in customer service to a job as a full time writer and editor, with a dash of blogging on the side, and I miss my bus. I missed my bus to my part-time job that pays my rent while I figure out this working for myself thing and I’m like, well, fuck. I’m new at the dry cleaner place. I’m in trouble.
I ran down Brownsboro Road in the cold. I saw a man in a dark gray hoodie headed eastbound on a bike, a headlight shining out in front and a blinking contraption that seemed a little much on the back. I stopped running and went to the nearby McDonald’s to get a cheap cup of coffee because there was no way I was going to make it to work on time running anyways. The McDonald’s parking lot smelled like fish.
I got my morning cup of sooty, chalky, cheap coffee.
I stepped over the cigarettes overflowing from the tall ashtray outside the door and walked in from the left side of the restaurant, dodging the wet floor sign next to the trashcans by the door. The woman behind the counter who always rings me up asked if I was staying for a bit. She says that refills are free if I stay in.
I tell her I’m running late. She goes to the coffee maker and moves the carafes.
I brainstormed some temporary transportation ideas for how to get to this job that I don’t plan on being at forever without having to stress out about the bus. I have a bike. I hate riding it. Besides, Brownsboro Road is the worst road to ride a bike on in Louisville, even with head and tail lights.
The woman behind the counter held my coffee cup over it and said here you go, hon. I took it from her, thanked her, and went out the door on the right. I could make out the gray hues in the concrete around me, both the special and ordinary. I stepped on both as I walked. And as I got to the crosswalk near the bus stop that I had missed, someone went past me on a skateboard. Their black jacket and dark washed jeans faded away into the gray of the concrete as they rolled eastbound down Brownsboro.
I got an Uber to work and looked up the price of skateboards. After work, I sent out a tweet.
I’m on my way to buy a cheap skateboard. I’m going to teach myself to skateboard because I’m 30 and I’ve always wanted to learn to skateboard. I might die. Over and out.
— Eric Shay Howard (@ericshayhoward) November 14, 2017
From there, my followers cheered me on through the process.
I found one for $40 at Target. It has two red wheels and two blue wheels, a red border, and blue grip tape. It’s a cruiser, probably one that kids use. It’s light weight and I can carry it around without feeling like I’m carrying a baby hippopotamus under my arm. I didn’t get to ride it home because I had to go home and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to get the plastic cover over one of the wheels off. I watched a few videos about how to ride a skateboard, then I took off the next morning for my first ride on the way to Quills Coffee to get some writing done. I plopped my skateboard down wheels up under a table near the center of the room, put my bag down in a chair, placed my hat and scarf on the table, and ordered myself a white mocha latte from the cute guy in a dark green sweater vest. He had well-kept facial hair and square glasses over his nose. I don’t know his name. They don’t wear name tags at Quills.
I was unable to avoid writing about skateboards.
Every now and then, between sips and key strokes and cute guy stares, I’d spin the nearest red wheel with my left foot, facing the reality that if I don’t enjoy skateboarding it might become a $40 desk prop for under my desk at in my office at home.
I’ll try to stick with it. Do you skateboard? Comment below with your wonderful ways. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and like my Facebook page. Also share this blog post if you enjoyed it even a little bit because I need attention.