Monday, September 27, 1999

Win Place Show

It's the place where for over a month you've been on the verge of tears every minute of every day- where you're trying to hold them back but nothing comes out when you're ready but flow uncontrollably at the most inopportune times. It's the place where you feel you have to sneeze but it just never happens. It's the place where the perpetually indigent and jobless not only get a job but get a dream opportunity (that doesn't even entail delivering phone books door to door).

It's the place where you hit the softball to lead off the game in the right place (right field) where it rolls and rolls and allows you to race around the bases with cramping ankles and for a moment you feel not so much like the wind but like you might collapse but still you end up with a home run of the sheepish kind. It's the place where an overlooked friend comments that it must have felt good to get the home run and you tell her just once you wish you could hit a home run like her boyfriend can. It's the place where you're playing third base and take a grounder and proceed to make a throw about ten feet above the bewildered first basewoman's head.

It's the place where you experiment whether or not a cat can get dizzy by making your domestic associate spin around in circles following his supper dish as he anxiously awaits for you to put his dinner down. It's the place where your favorite mother of two tells you of Ginger (the cat formerly known as Jam) who was let go in a park rather than the Humane Society where she would have been put to sleep- because she couldn't control her bladder in the house six years ago. It's the same place where your favorite mother of two's husband sees Ginger again in the same park, six years later wandering around with that unmistakable Ginger look.

It's the place where you say a prayer for a special cat who sat with you during a desperate time and who you made a pledge to hold on as long as he did- now as he is slowly shutting down you are stunned by the timing.

It's the place where on a cool but sunny Saturday morning you meander reluctantly over to a skating oval to watch the first annual "Roseville Meals on Wheels 10K In-Line Skating Race." Your attention is specifically on the graceful gait of a particular determined skater who continually inspires like no other. She is joined by her father as are you. And you leave quite impressed and glad you went out to cheer and finally share.

It's the place where you finally after much procrastination get your garage painted. The lone summer project now delayed into the fall essentially took three weeks- a week to rent a power cleaner to remove the peeling paint (which was remindful of a redheaded tourist visiting Mexico under the blazing unforgiving sun, with no sun screen); the second week with the assistance of two playful nephews and your father as you scrape and prime; and finally on this perfect afternoon you apply the selected color, taupe, taking only one small break to snarf up some fish and chips, and end up with a nifty looking garage thanks to the loyal and necessary help of your dad. It's the place where you see how a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in perception.

It's the place where you find yourself forcing yourself to go to despite just wanting to lie down to hear yet another of many bands. You sit in the dark bar being ignored by the waitress and wondering whether or not you are enjoying yourself or leaving your senses. It's the place where you are sitting in her car facing the wrong way feeling more and more like it may be the final time. It's the place where you finally write something you are rather proud of where only 80,000 people can ignore it.

It's the place where a neutral observer asks the person whose opinion you respect like no other if you are as nice as you seem. "Don't make men like him anymore." It's meant as a compliment not as the unrelenting feeling you get listening to Brian Wilson's "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times." A tad too sensitive to get by?

It's the place where you lie staring at the ceiling listening to your own breathing and remembering the last gasps of the one who taught you more than you know.

It's the place where memories overlap imagination, where time seems both omnipresent and inescapable and forever beyond your last grasp. It's the place where the popularity of cheerleading ends and society takes a step.

It's the place where you finally have the chance to show them what you can do.

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