Friday, November 6, 2015

A Brief History of My Involvement in Organized Sports

BIRTH. What an ordeal. The blood, the sweat. The lack of a trophy.

Second grade DODGEBALL. Tammy Nasser is is pelting me in the face with a playground ball.  I'd honestly would rather be doing papier mache.

Fifth grade GIRLS' SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY. I spend the afternoon with the school nurse because Katie Legget "high sticked" me, that is, she hit me in the face with her field hockey stick and my braces went through my lip. I still have the scar, Katie Legget. 

JCC SWIM LESSONS, also in Fifth Grade. I learn that the way I learned to swim
(ferocious doggy paddle against the current in the Allegheny River, or floating mindlessly as an invertebrate on my back at the cove at my grandparents farm on the Chesapeake Bay) has been wrong. Twelve different kinds of wrong.

Ninth Grade Public HIGH SCHOOL SWIM TEAM I practice with them for a month, but it's tiring, oh so exhausting. It leaves me with no time for my full-time effort which is to make a film of the Sartre play No Exit with my friends in French to get Christopher Nagy to notice me, because I fancy he looks like Julian Sands.

Briefly, CREW. 10th Grade. The club has no money; our "coach" makes us lift tomato cans and bags of flour.  At the start of the first race, I "catch a crab" meaning I lose control of my huge-ass water-beetle-leg oar and it catches me in the stomach and pitches me out of the boat and into the Marietta River.

Smith College RECREATIONAL SWIM. My house, Dawes House, the French-speaking house, is competing. I do two lengths of freestyle and I am very fast, yes, but also my heart goes tachycardic and I have a panic attack in the Natatorium.

EARLY ADULTHOOD ATTEMPTS TO BE A 420 SAILOR TO PLEASE BOYFRIEND WHO WILL LATER CHEAT ON ME ON MY OWN FUTON.  I date Mark Fallon who sails competitively with his five brothers on Cape Cod, I sail with him as "mate," he is "skipper." I don't understand any of the words that the good-looking yacht people are screaming at each other around the buoy markers -- jib, 160, starboard, fuck you, Ashburton, fuck you back Duffy -- and really what I want to know is, "Will you love me forever?

EARLY ADULTHOOD BASKETBALL FAN #FAIL "It's all too fast, and squeaky," I say to my Israeli boyfriend Itzik Segev who, on our first date, used the word "snuggle" meaning "smuggle" -- as in drugs into Ibiza  -- and that endeared him to me so much because I was totally into the trance music dance scene.  In Jerusalem, we break up. 

I get married to Javier Bastos. WORLD CUP SOCCER.  Perfect. It's a schedule of enthusiasm for very fit, very good-looking men, run by a very corrupt shadowy rich international soccer syndicate but it's just two weeks every four years, and I like yelling in French. Also see: the Azzuri, the Italian national team. Tutti gli uomini. Buongiorno. 

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