Joshua swung open the creaky closet door, digging for an old pair of sneakers, left over from his high school days. His wife had asked if he ‘really’ needed them a week prior and he only now remembered the conversation. He found the shoes, but his eye were drawn to his old skateboard. Man, he couldn’t remember the last time he used it, but the memories that surfaced from the depths of his life brought a smile to his face.
Maybe he would take it out again, just around the block. The school kids around the neighborhood would probably laugh at him, but he didn’t care. One more journey for old times sake; that is what he would call it. He sat in the foyer, nodding like a bobble head doll to his wife’s questions on the appearance of an old love. He told her never to mind, he was just going to go out for a little bit.
Of course it was not easy to fall back in love. Skateboarding was a lot harder then his brain remembered, and his body didn’t seem to understand the sheer amount of balance that was being required of it to stay on top of that old wooden surface. Getting down the driveway wasn’t so bad, but once he got into the streets every crack and crevice jerked the wheels just enough that he had to stop, re-adjust, and get back on the skateboard to try again.
Just once around the block, he mentally cheered himself on again. That was all he had to do, then he could put away the skateboard and be proud that he rode it one last time. He passed a group of local kids, hanging out at a corner, over-hearing them whisper about the old man on the skateboard.
Okay, maybe he did care, just a little, about what would be said at the sight of him reliving an old memory.
In the end, however, this new memory that he made with that old skateboard would be one he would not forget. And instead of wondering ‘what if’, he would be proud that he accomplished that last few feet back to his driveway, making it around the entire block without falling down. He would get home, put the skateboard back in the closet. He wasn’t going to throw it away along with his old sneakers. His wife was 7 months pregnant and his son would soon become part of their lives, and that skateboard was going to stick around.
Joshua could almost feel the grips of little hands while his son learned to balance. He’d show the boy how to bend his knees ‘just right’ to handle the bumps in the road, and if there where neighborhood kids who thought it was weird; Daddy would just have to make sure his son knew a trick or two to have them eating their words.