1. My pocket quacked.
2. I consumed, for the very first time, a Honey Nut Scooter that tasted like a California roll.
3. A large Dunkin Donuts coffee committed suicide off the roof of my car.
4. I bought cheese.
Now, this may come as a shock you...but I actually enjoy sitting on a cold aluminum bleacher at the tail of October to watch college soccer. Really. I don't know what it like more: enjoying a hot summer day at Narragansett Beach with my friends*, bodysurfing ten-foot waves, and getting plenty of attention from hot chicks in skimpy swimwear...or watching college soccer on metal bleachers cold enough to churn homemade ice cream on.
(*No offense at all to any of my previous girlfriends or chick friends, but there is no comparison between going to the beach with your guy friends and going with your gf/chick friends. Seaweed wars, the luxury of chick watching without interruption, and just general mischief are all made possible when surrounded by your fellow men.)
Wednesday afternoon's Anchorwomen game was no exception. It was cold. It was windy. It was cold and windy, two very unconfortable sensations. And what better way to experience that wonderful pair than parking one's darriere on the perfect conductor of said combo: an aluminum bench.
I arrived 15 minutes late, in large thanks to the afternoon logjam on Killingly Street, no vacancies on the lots adjacent to the field, and the retrieval of another large coffee. After such trifles, I was greeted with a 0-2 scoreline in favor of the orange-clad Salem State Vikings.
I greeted some familiar faces, then whipped out the notebook and its tag team partner, the pen.
You see, I've got this class. It's called Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction. My esteemed professor in said class assigned us a hearty 20-page paper to undertake before the end of November. The topic: anything you want. Romance. Drama. Comedy. Pokemon.* It didn't matter. But we have to be able to occupy twenty pages without sounding repeating ourselves ad nauseam. Or relying on size 24 font.
(*Actually, this premise is impossible. Pokemon, to the uninitiated, is not real.)
Guess which topic I chose? Seriously, guess.
You are absolutely right.
I chose sports.
Guess which team I chose to focus on? C'mon, c'mon. Just one guess. Last guess. No more after this one, I promise. Humor me.
Darn it, you're good. I did choose the Anchorwomen.
By the 20th minute, I was writing a virtual novel. Brief notes and though, mainly. No complete sentences. My brain was beginning to get numbed by the gusts of cold air that entered my ears. It was rough going for much of the game. By the second half, my writing took on a form that resembled a unique combination of early Picasso, hieroglyphics and elephant brushstrokes.
But a pair of Anchorwomen goals in the 26th and 67th minutes warmed my soul, even if it failed to warm my bones. Then, the chill returned when Salem State scored the clincher in the 77th.
Despite the fact that the loss doomed the club to the worst record in school history, I spoke with Maddie Pirri and Kristina Haughey, and they were not upset. Sure, they would have liked a few more wins. I'm sure Pirri wishes her goals-against average wasn't so high (which is tough because of the young defenders in front of her). And I can tell Haughey would do anything to be able to play right now.
At any rate, there was no bitterness. No sadness. In fact, there was optimism. The opportunity to do better next year exists. There is hope. And that's why I chose to devote twenty pages of writing to them - the best worst team in school history. Their record only tells 0.0001% of the tale. This year's team has a great story behind it.
And I intend to tell it.