Figure 8, Elliott Smith, Ice Skating Rink. Schoolhouse Rock, even. Skates cutting ice with such precision like my ankles never knew how. The edges are sharp and will draw blood. The Zamboni will smooth over the rink’s surface. These activities were never fun or thrilling or things to look forward to as a child. The wind whips cool air to dance on rosy cheeks. Protective mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves insulate. Winter activities. Three states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. Water. Precipitation cycle. 5th grade science class. Textbooks and colorcoded charts and graphs. Large, easy-to-read print. The words arranged in easy-to-read sentences. Creaking of old wooden floors at school. The dragging of desks and chairs. Standing up to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Post-9/11, but I remember doing it before too. Hand over heart. Say the words because God’s watching. No air conditioning, open windows, pray for a breeze and that the deodorant works. I just always seemed to be too much to handle, a muted symphony of sound. What would’ve happened if I had the courage and audacity to always be my loud, fearless self? Would another complex have grown in the place of whatever boiled then simmered? Steaming hot water, adding salt and boxed pasta. Giving a satisfying stir. You can tell a lot of things based on sound. Snow angels never felt satisfying as they looked in picture books. Crafting snowmen always seemed like too much work. Skipping grades. Tying sneakers. Hi and lo top Converse. Shin splints. Ricocheting vertical pain with every step forward. Basketball bullshit. Enforced gym class physical activity. To keep a good figure. Rebelling constantly. Weight differences can make one feel so self-conscious. Sweaty, awkward me. Entrapment. Trapdoor with a cage, padlocked. Lions and wolves in captivity. In the cellar. They rattle their chains.