There are a few things I’d always do whenever I come back to Singapore on holiday. Stuff my face, meet friends, and skate. I’d taken my K2 soft boots with me to Bangkok in my early years there but the badly maintained tracks at the park and its unreasonable restrictions on wheels of all forms (allowed only between 10am to 3pm and after 9pm) put paid to any rosy notions of skating there. So I’d eventually brought my skates back to Singapore and resigned myself to using them three times a year.
A few days ago, I was dismayed to find that the strap of the buckle had snapped without me knowing. Which meant I couldn’t skate until I got it fixed. Or if it were too expensive, I might have to say goodbye to them.
I bought these skates when I was 20, an age when life was full of possibilities and we felt as immortal as can be. Fifteen years later, the skates are looking shabby and I am getting hoary. Don’t believe it when people tell you that things go downhill after 30. The truth is, you turn 35, and it’s a nosedive from there.
Your mortality confronts you at every turn. Say goodbye to your Size 2 skirts. You’ll never be able to fit into them ever. Not even after a bout of gastric flu. Your system gets invaded by aliens whose names such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids become uncomfortably familiar Your body starts falling apart. Injuries take longer to heal, scabs take longer to form. I, who came in a “proud” second in a primary school teeth competition, am now having problems with my pearlies, dreading the approaching day that I will need crowns.
While I may not be able to halt the decline of my uncooperative body, I could repair my skates. For $30, my aged skates now have brand new buckles and a second lease of life. For $30, I got to skate again and, in that hour today, savoured the immortality of youth once again.