Danger lurks under the disco ball

By Joshua Dalton

Arizona Daily Wildcat

There the vortex stands, terra incognito on the other side. The brave few that enter this gateway to another dimension know that they may never come back. Stargate? Not remotely. Rather, adult skate night at Skate Country East.

I do not know if I can remember another time during which I sensed that my life was in more danger than I did that night. I felt as though if I were to find a newspaper in that roller rink, the date would be some day in the early '80s, in the heyday of roller skating.

The signs were clear. Corporate rock blared out of the speakers. Men and women in their 40s were dancing around the rink in their moth-eaten bell bottoms to remixed massacres of Beatles tunes. My friends and I looked on horrified. We didn't want trouble; we just wanted to skate. So, skate we did, minding our own business and always looking out for any danger that may befall us.

Soon, "couple skate" began. I simply sat in the corner and watched. And what a spectacle this spectator did see. One man with his shirt buttoned down to his white belt, black skates shining under the disco ball, and his partner, a woman in cutoffs and a T-shirt with a glitter iron-on patch, skated the entire length of the "couple skate" with their thumbs in each other's belt loops.

Another demented couple formed by a monochromatically dressed wannabe Jamaican and a flannel clad Hispanic man kept "HUH! OH!"-ing with no particular rhythm.

Fortunately, most of the experience has been blocked from my memory. Yet, there are some images that have scarred my mind and will be with me for a long time. I can only hope that time heals my wounds.

"You May Survive" is a regular feature of Thursday's alterNation arts section, in which Wildcat reporters take a little risk and brave unusual situations or commit acts that Wildcat readers may or may not want to take part in themselves.

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