My skates, feather-light when passed over the rental counter, now felt unwieldy and enormous. I teetered. I tottered. I made faces, unwillingly, out of unease and laughter and flitting bursts of panic. Yair, my companion in adventure, coaxed me along.
“It’s easier to stay upright if you just keep moving,” Yair called from up ahead.
"That's so metaphorical it's almost embarrassing," I said, but I did it.
I tried drawing pictures in the ice with the blades of my skates, to make S's and O's, to glide gracefully backwards the way I'd seen figure skaters do (this, it turns out, is much more difficult than it looks). I tried tracing the shadows of the lights strung overhead; I grabbed the arms of children wobbling by to steady them. I circled and circled, turn and spun, looked wooden and ungraceful and didn't care, and I laughed. I forgot, for whole minutes at a time, that I was even moving at all.