Maybe we all do. Maybe we all did. Precious things like our youth framed by handle bars, the hole dug beside the roots.

When I first got the hang of whistling, I sang at the birds. But I was just the needle through which they thread. Winter was rolling down those cooling autumn hills. The flocks were heading south for those mountains.

There was gold in those mountains, precious like the air between a frame.

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The disco ball was turning, shattering the darkness with screaming light, the dawn silence splintered by horns, a cannon firing a thick ball of needles. The huns are at the wall, threatening the structure with bass drum. We fire back with tight snare. We are on the move, churning into time, a polyester & corduroy hypno-wheel mesmerizing the gods of youth.

"There are no gods!" shouted Robbie Pinsker and deftly crossed his heavy skates, rolling backwards to the clarion call of the Village People.

Stephanie Friedman invited the whole class to her party at the roller rink. I arrived sheepishly....

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She had made her bed and she now had to lie in it: that was what her mother had told her and what she now believed. So she was lying in it, like a good little girl – meek and mild, silent and compliant: behaviour that had got her to where she was now – unhappy, stuck, unravelling. Because old habits die hard, you see, and it is difficult to change. How does one forget three decades of learned behaviour? How does one peel off and discard the labels people attach? They don’t, that’s how, because they can’t – not...

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She’d never thought of herself as pretty. She was far too awkward for that, too uncomfortable in her own skin, too shy and retiring. Her features, if they drew comment (which in itself was rare) were declared unusual and unsettling. It was generally agreed that her eyes were too hooded and their shade too light. Half blind, they had a tendency to fix overly long upon you, after which they slowly fought to read and absorb your every detail, drinking you in. Defying social conventions, ignoring the boundaries of an individual’s space, their precious circle, they upset rather than pleased....

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Two rows of terrified youth, each plastered, clingingly, to the fences on opposite sides of the tennis court. 16 bouncing 4-square balls. 16 times times 20 opponents per side: the numbers were staggering. The odds of being struck by lightning paled in comparison. You could win lotto 35 goddamn times before you'd escape a barrage like this.

And someone said "GO!"

They raced to the balls, grabbing all the resources they could muster for their side, hoarding the ammunition. When one side has only 3 balls, it's much easier to keep track of who's hunting you.

Her side had 11...

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It wasn't one of those baby swings, with a back and leg holes, safe and sturdy; it was a real swing and he had no idea how to make it move.

"Move your legs," said Daddy. "Forward and back, just like that, forward and back."

It felt like the swing was starting to move. Not much rhythm, yet. The light grey sky didn't do much to encourage, and he looked back, hoping for a push like usual.

A few minutes later and he was soaring, smile as wide as the arc the swing made from apex to apex - velcro-laced...

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Six minutes. You wouldn't think it a long enough span of time to affect anything. Anyone.
And yet.
It's time enough and more to change your life. My life.
We were given six minutes. The span between one time slot and the next.
Six minutes to explain.
Six minutes to speak.
And I couldn't. There was nothing I could say to erase what I did.
I kissed her.
And this time she melted into my arms.
Wrapped hers around my neck.
And for six minutes it was perfect.
Until the buzzer rang. And someone rapped on the...

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