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  • Last night I slept in sheets the colour of fire
    Tonight I lie alone again and curse my own desires
    sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
    and watch by the window
    where the boys grow in the trees
    - Carly Simon


    These boys began their work around seven o’clock this Sunday morning. These boys don’t care that I went to bed seriously late last night, or that I have a blistering headache after too many drinks. These boys don’t care that they woke me up in the middle of a lovely dream about Lev, the handsome Russian skater who escorted me around the ice rink yesterday afternoon, around and around in beautiful circles, conversing in broken English and fluent French, supporting me with a hand against my back when I staggered, and suddenly, while skating backwards, grabbing my hands and pulling me into a flowing dance, zig-zaging between the myriads of other skaters at a crazy speed.

    These boys don't care that he spoke to me about Anna Karenina, or that I was intently focused on not swaying, not falling; I’m not falling for this, not falling for this Vronsky. But Anna, Anna! Feeling his hand against her lower back, ever so lightly, carefully guiding her safely across the snowy streets of Moscow or St. Petersburg, up narrow stairways, into dark corners, into tragedy. The suppressed laughter, the ice crystals gleaming in bright blue eyes on a perfect winter's night; these boys don't care about any of that.
  • These boys know about risks, though, and the fine line between swaying and falling. These boys are tightrope walkers; these boys are brave. Their equipment is heavy, the branches they climb are slim, and these are not sturdy trees. These boys could teach me a thing or two about balancing, about staying on the right side of the invisible line, so as not to fall and break my neck.
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