Now I've put in a couple of weeks trying to teach her how to skate. She's Sicilian, defends herself with the facts that Sicily doesn't have Ice or Snow, I just generally find it inexcusable. We find, after a number of thrift shops, a pair of skates for her (surprisingly big feet, those Sicilians), and for the first couple of lessons I merely lead her about the rink on my hand...the second lesson she holds my scarf...

She's catching on. I'm still in my boots, and my pretended expertise is called into question...why don't I have skates?

Yesterday, I find and buy myself a pair of vintage men's hockey skates. Today I'm prepared...

The weather, it's good for this, perfect, almost Ten Degrees Celsius, warm enough for us, but the ice, it's showing the wear, leaf-stained melt-water, lumps and bubbles, if the weather holds we'll have to continue these lessons elsewhere...

At first, lace on the skates, stagger, barely, to the rink, legs and arms flailing, I wave her away, it's been 35 years since I've been on skates, I remember, high school, hockey, a hematoma on my elbow, getting it drained with a syringe at the clinic, it swelled up again, another visit to the doctor...

...by swelled up I mean a one-foot-long protrusion beneath my elbow, completely fucked up, I could have joined a freakshow and my fortune would have been made, my classmates cringed, I was absolved of all further hockey duties...

Until now, and now I'm expected to be the Canadian resident Skating expert, and after a couple of minutes drunkenly teetering and almost falling, always falling, never landing...

Just like I remembered, easy enough... 

And from here on in I find my legs, remember, poorly, and practice skating backwards, forwards, stopping, turning around...

I was always bad at stopping...

When she sees that possibly I might know what I'm doing her faith is restored, she gives me her hand and we set off skating together.

It's fun, in that timid, domestic, first date sort of way, but she has a boyfriend and I'm really not that timid...But I can see it through her eyes, and for her it's the time of her life, she almost falls a million times, almost throws me over, laughs maniacally, bent double, she can't help it, and then we set off again, me towing her, pushing her, pulling her, her pushing me, or sometimes wanting the break to skate in small short strokes on her own, this is good, I can skate on my own, remember, catch up, it's been a long time, ...