Tuesday, December 20, 2011

night skating

waiting until after midnight, waiting for the furnace to kick on so the sound would cover my movements, the muttering mechanicals breathing warmed air throughout the house, everyone deep into their dreams but me.

Thick socks over thin, jeans and sweater pulled on over pajamas, I sat in a chair in the kitchen and pushed my feet into my skates and laced them tight, tight, my high heels, in just enough time to ease the back door open, slip out and close it before the furnace sighed and stilled.

the ground was covered with brittle brown grass, frozen hard and unforgiving of the misstep. I picked my way carefully down across the yard to the edge of the lake where the ice had trapped little pockects of air that you wanted to avoid stepping on and cutting with the sound like ripping silk.

keeping the blades flat and taking the first steps out onto the black ice..right foot left foot ..tock. tock, tock  then leaning and letting the glide take me further away from the house into deeper silence and darkness  then setting the toeteeth and pushing off. Another long glide before settling into the rhythm and picking up speed, steadying, shifting and lifting the right foot up and back, leaning in and forward, shoulders down, head up..flying into the night on that burning, bad, but anchored, ankle.

Picking up speed in a wide arc I fly off into the darkness for  a while but soon catch a careless toe and go sprawling. Heated up and winded, I lie on my back and look into the overcast blackness unable to find any stars, my eyes smarting with the cold. The ice speaks underneath me then, through me, a thrummimg groan, booming low and pinging high at the same time. letting me know it's gathering strength under me as unseen snowflakes land on my burning cheeks and melt instantly the water running into my hair.

10 comments:

Sherrie Spangler said...

WOW!

Serena said...

now that is beautiful.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

flying

Mo Crow said...

brilliant wordsmithing, you took me all the way from a hot summer night here in sunny Sydney to skating on the frozen pond behind my grandmother's place in Quebec when I was 13.. but never at night... oh never at night... that was always just a dream....

Deb said...

so Terri.. you know that sound I tried to write about. My grampa used to say the ice was yawning.

Jeannie said...

Thank you for taking me skating with you. It has been cold enough for ice to form on the edges of the river, but the water is to high and swift to freeze solid. So, I will read and re-read this post, close my eyes, and skate along with you. Thanks

Yvonne said...

I felt right there, with you - thankyou for this beautiful, virtual experience.

Terry said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Yes.

deemallon said...

a beautifully detailed description... I'll admit to feeling scared reading it, not expansive and joyful, like the writer... but that's me! I could hear the skater, hear the ice, hear the furnace, feel the cold snowflakes... such excellent writing.

Deb said...

Dee - I have to admit there are underlying terrors here that I did not address but doing it was flying in the face of both - A. getting caught and reaping parental grief and B. Skating into the dark required a measure of faith, faith in something as ephemeral as frozen water.

and thanks