On Sunday I left my books and beading behind, and journeyed with Emily past New York and on into the mountainous ranges of Vermont. Emily’s old van spiraled up the curvy mountain roads, ascending above dotted hills of mostly pine timber. Eventually we passed thru Vermont and headed over the New Hampshire state line.
The designated destination of the days trip was a roller rink located in rural New Hampshire surrounded by rolling crests of land and a vast still lake. Unlike the calm image shrouding the secluded rink, inside of the establishment high commotion was in session.
In addition to being a Land Baroness, Emily spends 2-3 nights a week involved with a roller derby team. Her days of playing derby have passed, but she is still as committed as ever to derby and now volunteers her time and talent to acting as a referee at derby bouts. The striped ref jersey that she wears when officiating displays her derby name on the back. While out on a rink floor, Emily Menn becomes Miranda Wrights, which is most appropriate for a lawyer whose derby slang name has a narrative of humor and truth to it.
Before Emily got suited up in her stripes, and put on her serious official face, we laced up skates, and hit the rink. Emily shines when she skates. Watching her makes me think of my sister, Kate. Like Kate, Emily is a dancer too. She’s a dancer on wheels who moves with collected rhythm, grace and poise.
I am not a dancer, and my days as a rollerblading child with bloody knees have long ago passed. However, I discovered that wearing a dress is a fool-proof way to have the incentive to not take any embarrassing spills.
By the time my feet were starting to blister, it was time to get off the floor so that the 2 combating teams could warm up. Emily became Miranda, or should I say Miss Miranda Wrights. She lay the law down in the midstsof wipeouts and speeding skates. Her home team lost by a few points, but on the positive side of things, no members ended up injured in the ER (though 2 players did need the attention of EMT’s on call.)
At the bouts end, all participants seemed happy with the afternoons calamity. I too was in good spirits, even if my books and beading missed me two states and a steep mountain decent away.