\ Posted by: Freedoria
I totally need to get away from my own head tonight. I'm going to write about Ilia. I've always wanted to but never got around to it. Well here's my chance. Okay, let me see if my memory cells can spark enough to take me back to 1997. Things were going okay. I was working and paying my bills. I loved figure skating ever since I was a little girl. I would watch it and get that beautiful feeling you get in your heart when you see something so beautiful it about takes you breath away. I would have certain favorite skaters I would follow. I loved pairs and singles.
So I was sitting there one day and some figure skating came on. There was this blonde Russian guy that came out to skate and I recognized him from a couple of previous competitions and remembered he was someone I liked. Well he came out and skated a couple of previous competitions and remembered he was someone I liked. He came out and skated and blue my mind. I fell in love. I was absolutely blindsided. His skating was the most beautiful I had ever seen. I was entranced. I was enchanted. Did I see myself 7 months later boarding a plane to Los Angeles to attend an intimate party held in his honor? Oh HELL no! Did I see myself one year later becoming close friends with someone who was counted as a confidant' of his. Oh HELL no! Did I see myself getting my picture taken with him after he had won a Gold Medal for Mens 1998. Oh HELL no! Did I see myself freaking out when someone had told me he had said he was sad and was thinking about quitting figure skaintg. he had said something like "figure skating is not like a painting you can look at and admire any time. Figure skating was something you did and then people forgot". I never forgot him. Oh well, maybe he was having a bad hair day that day. It was over 7 years ago.
At another party near Boston, Mass., I shook his hand and muttered some dumb thing to him. I could see in his eyes he was extremely guarded and with good reason. I felt nothing. The earth did not move; the ground did not shake. He was self-possessed; treading very carefully. I saw him again in DC and again in New York City. It was always the same Ilia. He was puppet like. I wondered who held his strings. I never found out. Maybe many people held them.
He struck me as having a sad side underneath all the excitment and new-found fame. At one party, I saw him get annoyed several times. It was not very flattering but I don't hold that agsinst him. I get annoyed all the time. It is a very difficult emotion.
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