I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in central Iowa for a decade now and during the decent weather months I have gone on daily walks down a stretch of sidewalk that goes past a skate park. Several years ago it was a hotbed for sightings but in the past few years, the girls have almost entirely disappeared and the park has been populated almost exclusively by young teen males. I still kept tabs on smoking even with the skate park having been occupied by 95% guys in the past couple of years, and saw more ghastly vaporizers than cigarettes. It seemed as though the neighborhood skate park was becoming a ghost of fetish past….
But at some point right after Labor Day in 2015 I began to notice a flurry of newcomers, in particular a half dozen or so very attractive mid-teen girls always decked out in short shorts and eager to impress the group of males who are mostly a couple of years older than them, blatantly showing off their roller-blading skills in front of them and using some salty language when initiating conversation with them. Most impressive was this 14-15ish long-haired blond who when I first saw her was wearing a pink T-shirt and insanely tight white shorts that hugged her hips, ass, and crotch in that amazing way you only see on a mid-teen girl. I took a mental note of this demographic change and began speculating on the possibilities. About a week later a young boy about 16 was riding on his skateboard down my street heading to the park with a cigarette in his hand and my curiosity escalated further. I hadn’t seen a kid that young smoking on the sidewalk in this town for a very long time. Was there a new mid-teen smoker crowd hanging out at that skate park???
Just a few days later, at the very end of September and on the last warm day of the season, I got my answer. Early that evening on my walk, I took note of that aforementioned mid-teen blond who couldn’t have looked more innocent as she whizzed past on the sidewalk parallel to mine en route to the skate park, her long platinum blond hair flowing onto a summer mini-dress with black and white polka dots!!!! I didn’t give the image much thought beyond that until my return trip past the skate park walking home and spotted the blond hovering several feet behind a group of teen guys in a pose that immediately set off alarms as she cupped her hands in front of her face. Seconds later, the spark from a lighter lit up a cigarette and my heart nearly missed a beat….
She then raced out of sight, briefly, in the cement plateau of the skate park. I knew I had 30 seconds at most to get anything else out of this sighting before I walked out of sight so I’d need a few lucky breaks, but blondie cooperated beautifully, blading up and down in that plateau and at one point hanging onto the bar at the top of the backside of the park, her freshly lit cigarette very visible in her right hand. It was crazy enough to be seeing a mid-teen blond in a short polka dot dress casually roller blading around inside the skate park, but for her to be doing it with a cigarette in hand in the year 2015 instantly qualified it as the top image of this skate park’s history after several hundred walks past it. But she still wasn’t done, disappearing down into the plateau where I could hear her roller blades approaching on the cement before ascending to the top in the spot closest to me as I was walking by. As soon as she got her footing, the cigarette she held in her hand approached her mouth for an adorable beginner drag that lasted about two seconds before a small burst of smoke emptied out of her face and she skated out of sight again, carrying herself with an impressive confidence as the only girl in this group of boys while still evoking this very girlish beginning smoker image. Pretty crazy how the sighting played out like a thrill ride as I sure felt like I was on a roller coaster in that all-too-brief view I got of it. I was walking out of range with no way of getting a better look and not getting busted by a dozen or so skater kids who would have definitely noticed me if I got too voyeurisitic.
In the background as I walked away I could hear this young teen guy who looked 13 or 14 talking about “taking my lighter”, possibly in reference to the blond who seemed to be ignoring him. This kid was a smoker too?!? Is it possible there’s a teen smoking renaissance going on? At least here in central Iowa? Are vaporizers passe? After a summer of being bummed out by how few young teens smoked anymore, this was very encouraging to see in the town where I love, but my only disappointment is that it didn’t start happening until autumn, but was still left with a month’s worth of walks after work before it got too dark and too cold and hoped I would catch this girl in action again.
Unfortunately, my one marquee sighting appeared to be a fluke. I saw her again many times in the coming six weeks, and due to the unusually warm weather she was frequently decked out in T-shirts and amazingly short and tight shorts well into October. Even by November she was rocking some sexy form-fitting leggings and super-tight jeans. A more perfect mid-teen girl I can hardly imagine. The only thing that was missing was additional smoking….almost. One day in mid-October, I caught a very distant glance of her sneaking a puff off of another skater guy’s cigarette and handing it back to him. That was it. I’m still hoping she’ll be further corrupted by spring and become a more prolific smoker in 2016 (update: didn’t see her once in 2016). Even if she isn’t, she the sexiest girl to regularly visit the neighborhood skate park in a decade and has made the place so much more exciting to walk by than it’s been in years. I’m hoping this story is to be continued next year, but the 30 seconds of ecstasy from September 30, 2015, that I witnessed where she skated around in her polka dot dress casually smoking a cigarette has already made her a legend.