Photograph: Sonja Henie

My First Time

Coldplay was blaring over the loud speaker…

“The lights go out and I can’t be saved

  Tides that I tried to swim against

Have brought me down upon my knees

Oh I beg, I beg and plead, singing-

Come out of the things unsaid, Shoot an apple off my head and- a

Trouble that can’t be named, A tiger’s waiting to be tamed, singing…”

I drove to the rink with a mind reeling, nervous, excited, anticiapating, what?  I wasn’t sure…keep it simple.

I  purchased a sweater trimmed with drawstring pompoms specifically for the day. My first time on ice.

My ankles were bound so tightly with the leather my movements were expectedly rigid.  I had a companion,  a familiar voice to slowly guide me, encourage me: “You got it…keep going.  You doing good.”  Then there was the small talk of pre-school athletes whizzing by in oversized helmets, moving effortlessly on ice.  Old pros.

“its easy,  yes, because they’ve been on them since they were this tall..” he measures the air with his hand.

We had a few rounds on the rink hand-in-hand, face to face.   I broke away with confidence, and grasped his hand for balance; sometimes I moved alongside the wall but steadily made my way back to his company.

I reflect on this day with a smile, my first time on ice, even though we both misunderstood the other’s intentions.


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