The disco ball was turning, shattering the darkness with screaming light, the dawn silence splintered by horns, a cannon firing a thick ball of needles. The huns are at the wall, threatening the structure with bass drum. We fire back with tight snare. We are on the move, churning into time, a polyester & corduroy hypno-wheel mesmerizing the gods of youth.
"There are no gods!" shouted Robbie Pinsker and deftly crossed his heavy skates, rolling backwards to the clarion call of the Village People.
Stephanie Friedman invited the whole class to her party at the roller rink. I arrived sheepishly. And early. The Barbie Colorforms wrapped in pink-flowered yellow paper. A birthday card held to the box with a small loop of Scotch tape. I had, at least, signed the card myself.
I neither liked nor disliked Stephanie Friedman, nor anyone else in my third grade class. Opinions and preferences came late to me in life. I was less concerned with life than with the products of life. Comic books and action figures. And TV. What else? There wasn't much else for an eight year old patrolling his landscape of 1977 America.
I slid into the curved bench and threw my elbows on the formica table top. I ate a slice of cake while eyeing the soft pretzels and greasy hotdogs at the concession stand. I reminded myself it would be Monster Week on "The 4:30 Movie." I flipped through the back pages of the Sears Wish Book that lay open in my mind.
"...birthday to you!" I turned my head in time to follow the wisps of freed smoke emancipated from the flames. I didn't secretly smile at their elevating dance. I never felt confined. The innocence of youth is its greatest strength.
"There are no gods!" shouted Robbie Pinsker, whipping around again. But those huns were at the wall. The disco ball kept turning. In the clash of strobe and colored gels, I thought I saw the universe being born.
I tip-toed to the rink.