Yesterday was my first time on ice skates, at the Magic of Christmas ice rink. The rink was 95% teens; the boys had hard eyes and Tintin haircuts. I dreaded their French derision.
The falling man in the last post is a new friend, who lives without dread. We lost our ice rink virginity together, worlds apart in style. I cleaved to the rink wall and skated without courage. One could call it “walking on ice skates.”
But new friend Jesús went balls out, as if he had no notion of consequence. He glided along with grace and elegance, a resplendent Brian Boitano. I half expected a triple Salchow.
Then he fell. Spectacularly. Over and over again. People watching sucked in air and said “Oh la la!” French kids offered assistance, not snickers. “Ca va bien, monsieur?” said one rose-complected little ice fairy, extending a delicate paw.
Of course this was an instructive moment. Take risks, Hirsch, be bold. The timorous little teacup has less bruises than the daredevil, but also less fun. I envied Jesús for sucking the marrow from life while I gazed from the sidelines.
PS This song was playing when I first hit the ice. Let me add to that humiliation: it used to be my “ping-pong song,” a tune for pimply 12-year-old me to work himself into a pre-game lather.