Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

My Mother’s Tears


At the neighborhood pool where we liked to gather and which the surrounding buildings gave room to breathe, our activities were divided between games in the pool— diving into the water and underwater, cannonballs, naval battles, water-polo—and games on the ground— running races, hide-and-seek, going down the slide, gymnastics—yet the main attraction was the merry- go-round, whose shape evoked certain torture devices that once adorned fortified castles. Constructed from a circular wooden platform raised a few centimeters off the ground with a metal axle set through its center on which was mounted an iron structure we leaned against to make the platform spin, the merry-go-round held six people—the legal number of seats—but that rarely discouraged the pushy latecomers, whom I liked to join. When the merry-go-round gained speed, some faces became flushed, others turned pale or began to break down, but most often we were happy to spin slowly which gave the more daring boys a chance to hold a girl on their laps, a boldness I sometimes ventured, but for me the boldness was only relative since Romaine, a green-eyed blond who ruffled my heart, never ended up on my lap. I preferred not to know the joy she’d


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