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Memories of a Skating Junkie - Difficult Cloze

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An Anecdote by Victoria Fontana

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I remember how they smelled. We weren’t extremely , so mine weren’t made of leather or anything like that. It was more of a plastic smell, mixed with the scent of summer and outside. I could smell them even before I put them on, and I can sense the aroma even now, 23 years later, as I reminisce. They were blue with one white and one red curvy up each side. My mom got me some special glittery fat laces for them, so I didn’t have to use the plain old white ones. Mine were red and called attention to my fancy feet as I rolled up and down the street. That and two puffy white laced in, one on each toe.

As I slid the boots onto my feet I was transformed. I became someone special, a star. No one else, no bullies, no catty classmates, no heckling brother, nobody could tell me what to do, how to do it or where – for a brief moment, I was my own boss, at ten. I pulled up my laces. I hooked them into the eyelets, making sure that they firmly hugged my ankles, ‘cause that’s how I liked them to feel on my feet. And I started off.

They had just repaved our street, so I had the most professional surface to on. Up and down, I never stopped until the sun went down or my mother made me come in for dinner...whichever came first. around in circles, going fast and straight on, so fast that I could feel myself almost lose control, then slow and cool -and all the time thinking, and not thinking, imagining – imagining my fans watching me, figuring out a new way to skate better backwards, seeing how fast I could actually go, and preparing, for the day we went to the . OHHHH, the rink. Slick smooth wood floors, everything was so much easier – If you looked cool going up and down your street, man, you really looked cool at the rink. My purple unicorn shirt, my Jordash™ jeans (that I waited sooooooo long to have in my possession) my white and purple striped and...my awesome, mint skates. The music! Steve Miller Band, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, Styx, Journey...maybe a boy would ask me to skate with him, his sweaty hand in mine as we swirled round and round. I remember that we would have to hold on tighter around the curves, so that our hands wouldn’t slide away. The boys always wore black skates – it wasn’t cool for them to wear colors or or pompons, logically. Although, there was always one who did – either his mom made him borrow his sister’s skates, or he was just special, and would later become an artist, or singer or showman or something like that.

But most importantly, I remember the feeling of freedom and fun moments. So much that 23 years later I went out and bought myself some skates. Just some classic white ones – I the glitter and the pompons, of course. And I sat down on my step, a familiar feeling of excitement filled my stomach as I laced them up. I had tried them on at the store, and it seemed that I still had it! Once laced up, I set off. My plan was to skate down to the end of my street where there is no traffic. The streets in Madrid aren’t like the streets in my home town. They haven’t been recently paved. They certainly aren’t flat. I started off down a hill...faster and faster....I saw all those years between 10 and 33 pass before my eyes, faster than the 10 line subway train. Oh my God!! I am a lot taller than I was at ten! As my legs , I gained speed, yet I was still lucid enough to recognize my two choices – a cement wall about 10 yards in front of me, or an old white parked car, 2 yards away....I went for the car. As I was sure that it would be much softer than the cement wall. Not much, but a bit softer it must have been. Even so, I am now sitting here, writing this with a beautiful and a scrape along my left cheek (my face cheek, in case you were thinking otherwise) and a black and blue elbow with three beautiful scabs, covering up what was about 2 minutes of embarrassment, blood and pain. I do to the owner of the now white and red car parked on the street. I never even got to my destination. And there sit my new white skates...waiting to be taken for a spin. Waiting to bring back some beautiful memories for me, yet still threatening me with the little of blood that remains on the left one.