I was 7 or 8. I sat in the mezzanine. The wire ran from the raised platform on the stage to the railing of the second balcony. Up there, way up there, poised on the railing, one hand gripping a nearby post, was a man dressed in the traditional leotard. He was the aerialist, the daring young man on the tight wire, about to attempt the famous and terrible “slide for life.” The orchestra stopped playing, all except the snare drum, which rolled, threateningly. Still holding the post, the death-defier carefully fitted his feet to the tremblingly taught wire. He flexed his knees once or twice, testing the give and take of the wire, testing his weight, testing his balance.