We found out about the second plane in Miss Buckley’s fourth period Latin class.
The bell rang. Stunned students gathered their belongings in a blur.
It was at that infinitely odd moment that Conway approached me for the first time.
“You going to the skatepark today?” Conway asked.
At that moment Conway’s question felt nearly as unusual as the planes themselves and I was flattered, if baffled, by the sudden attention. Nary a word ever passed between us.
Conway was always slightly mysterious, at a remove, in the way that popular kids often are. For instance, he simply went by Conway. Just Conway.
“Yeah… yeah… definitely,” I said in a daze.
While my dad and I were sitting and watching the news, Conway knocked at the back door. He’d never been to my house before.
“Ready?” he asked. I looked to my dad, to see if he might have an answer. He said nothing.
We were loud at the skatepark, too loud.
Or, rather, everything around the skatepark was too quiet: no cars, no planes overhead, everyone inside in front of TVs.
The hard crack of every trick felt somehow vulgar.
“Where is everyone?” Conway called out from the bowl with an exuberance that now felt thin. Here at the skatepark, away from school and his persona of effortless popularity, he seemed so much less celestial, much more down to earth.
He was in need of something at once obvious and unknown.
I left not long after.
Riding home alone, I knew that there were now certain things the roar of wheels over pavement couldn’t drown out, things that not even skateboarding could save me from.