Falling

My little kid fear was in the pocket of a different pair of jams shorts. I stood above the world on a board of wobbling wheels on the biggest hill I knew existed. By my friend’s house on a block with smooth patches of concrete instead of beaten gravel and tar. My friends had their skateboards for weeks before I got mine, but as they pushed off and coasted down, I felt ready to fall in behind them. They were at the bottom and I was halfway down when I felt my balance shifting out from under me. I had reached the point of certainty; I would fall, but I felt then, and even now, a little, like something would–or should have–plucked me out of the air and set me down on the curb. Let me go with a warning. Instead I came down on my right elbow and slid. The smooth concrete searing through my skin. I was lucky. Some kids fight through their instincts to be brave and are left damaged. I received a scar I wore through childhood with pride.

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