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Why We Walk with Spikes on Our Shoes photo

Because Prince said sometimes it snows in April, one day it did. The snow pummeled us, then melted, then pooled on the sidewalks and in the streets, only to freeze under a full moon. The ice sealed so thick and sheer we had to shuffle to work, our shoulders tight, our bodies leaning forward, our arms reaching out for balance. We prayed to make it from the parked car to the office door with limbs unbroken, whispering, “No job is worth my life.”

We all remember watching Claire that day, who insisted on wearing cute heels. In her defense, she was once a dancer and knew how to walk lightly on the earth. Because she hurried across the street, her heel slid out from under her. Her other foot lifted upward—in muscle memory or kinship, we still aren’t sure—followed by her whole body. We all saw it, there is no dispute, how she hovered, horizontal, above the street, her papers and bag suspended, in one small millisecond of wonder so beautiful we thought: this is the portal to something we have never imagined before. We watched her, held our collective breath, said our prayers, and waited.

Because Claire could help us understand. Because not everything out here has to hurt.