Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Michel Layaz

have given me in accepting my invitation because I did not want to face the sadness I’d have sunk into if she turned me down. Romaine sat on the other boys’ laps and other girls sat on mine. And so the merry-go-round spun with no real danger. Now and then we had a speed contest. Who could stand the fastest spinning?... Who would be King of the Merry-go-round?... There were usually two groups of four to six boys (the girls may have had their reasons for encouraging this kind of foolishness, but not for the world would they have wanted to join in). The selection within each team followed the same procedure: we spun the merry-go-round faster and faster until one of the contenders, his eyes shut tight, grimaced and begged for mercy. In short order, each side had only one contender left. The two survivors faced off in a final round that inspired cries of enthusiasm and admiration, or jeering and insults depending on which side was shouting. What honed the desire to win was the victor’s prize: for ten seconds he could kiss whichever girl he chose from among the spectators. Romaine, who watched this jousting with good grace, would always take a bar of chocolate out of her green purse during the final round and suck it languorously, her eyes fixed on the last two rivals’ efforts, lost in sweet reverie. The chocolate melted between her lips, darkened them, and to clean them Romaine had a way of licking her lips I found endlessly alluring...


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