There's a picture sitting on my nightstand table in a clear plastic "asics" frame; parting gifts from a Chicago tournament It's printed on regular computer paper, and the faces of my teamates are stretched out and long as I struggled to morph the scene of us sweaty and smiling at the dinner table into a size measuring four-point-five-by-three-inches.
Paper cups and icecream littered the table, and we form a lean-to with our heads. We're not wearing our jerseys, but there was a volleyball rolling beneath our bare toes. I think I remember being unhappy in that picture, but I may be forgetting incorrectly.
Back on the court, freshman are lined up in front of the office; anxiety and hope paint their young faces as if it were Christmas, or Doomsday. A few are already crying.
I join my line and am called in. I go in. I am called out. I come out. And just like that, I'm on the team.
You cannot believe how much stress that few minutes took off of my shoulders.
Fresh squeezed by melly at 1:08 PM
Friday, November 21, 2003
these things that i know
He's waiting by the art room and the soon-to-be-removed pop machines, crossing his arms. I'm late; stopping to talk with girls about volleyball. He has no interest in this, except for the spandex part.
So he smiles awkwardly when I finally get there, saying my goodbyes to other girls. They look at us, and think things that are not true. And I laugh inside.
His tiny red beat-up Nissan is sitting in the Junior Parking Lot. I climb in and cannot find my seatbelt; a sweatshirt blocks the path. He throws it behind him, switches the CD, and rolls down his window.
I experience whiplash and a shriek as he twists and turns out of his parking space, coming to a complete stop in front of another car. We wait there for a few minutes or so, teasing with our eyes in the rearview mirror, then lurch forward.
The Chevy pickup in front of us has a "Women love me, fish fear me" sticker on its rusted bumper. I roll my eyes. He laughs at my cynicism and my girlish fears.
In the ten minutes of the ride, we discuss his future car accident death, PETA and the March of Dimes, yogurt, dweebs, why we call them "dweebs", and the directions to my house.
I get out of the car and he honks the horn at me. I shriek once more, and he speeds off. We're nothing more than friends, and I'll see him again on Monday.
I haven't written often this week. I apologize for this. There have been two thoughts that have held fast on me this week, and little else: boys and volleyball. I have been a zombie, content only when talking or thinking on these subjects, and painting a monochromatic version of myself. I have been upset, beat down, and above all else, just a little loopy.
I'm coming home tomorrow.
Fresh squeezed by melly at 8:06 PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
murder, she wrote
The first snow came gently and without purpose, and it was unabashed in this. The people knew it as they looked out the window; the weather report knew it as it consulted its charts and graphs; the rough concrete knew it as it melted the flakes quickly and without mercy.
Still, the existence of the snow in the air drew cheers and chills alike from the little room tucked into the center of the building. The microwave and the boy hummed all the sad songs in harmony—The Smiths, or Auld Lang Syne, or both. He created no attention about himself, occasionaly pausing to scribble down a math problem on deadline, or to push his thick-black-rim glasses a little higher on his nose. They had been crookedly bent out of shape for over three weeks now.
Woolen sweaters chafed the unready skin that day, as did non-remarks about black and white photographs.
By three-o-clock, the sun shone again. The schoolchildren stepped out into the rays of cool light, dispersing and conglomerating to their will in it, done for the day. Gum wrappers and phone numbers littered the air, in a sort of ungraceful frolic upon the slight breeze.
Thunderclouds loomed on the horizon, just like in three-dollar novels.
Fresh squeezed by melly at 4:00 PM