Friday, July 22, 2005


Today I move around like an old, old woman, constantly aware that any movement (especially in an upward direction which would cause individual muscles in my lower body to have to bear more than their share of my body weight) will cause me great pain and thus I enter that inevitable pain slowly and carefully, like when you lower yourself slowly into the shallow end of a cold pool, allowing your body to get used to the unpleasant experience little by little.

"Why?" you say.

"Dodgeball," I reply.

My best friend Susan laughed quite a bit before she drove out of cell phone range when I told her that I spent last evening playing dodgeball. My mother questioned my judgement as if I'd told her I'd gotten a tongue-ring.

Andrew is a guy on the island who runs his own silkscreening company and who also has parents that own a large portion of one of the mountains on the island. He lives in an outbuilding there called the coop and runs his business out of the adjacent barn. Next to both of these buildings is a fairly well-maintained, fenced-in tennis court. Andrew is the type of quiet guy who does odd things in his spare time like study the official rulebook of competitive dodgeball. So, at some point I guess he decided to put that knowledge to use and start up a weekly dodgeball game. Last night was the second meeting. He invested in ten regulation dodgeballs and put out the word.

It was fantastic. We could indulge our competitive streaks by throwing rubber balls as hard as we could at one another but those same competitive streaks could not get ugly and out-of-control because the sport is so absurd. Are you really going to fight about a call in DODGEBALL? Actually, one guy cheated quite a bit and often claimed that balls bounced before they hit him and our team sort of collectively agreed without saying a word that he was so pathetic in cheating that we wouldn't even argue with him. We still kicked their asses.

I also enjoyed the sport dynamic of playing with guys. It's one I've always enjoyed. I know that I'm not as good as they are, but since I'm the one to point it out with a sense of humor and since I stick it out with a certain dogged perseverance, we all have fun, teasing and flirting. Of course, three of the five girls that showed up to play, ultimately sat on the sidelines and just watched. Of course, one had her baby with her and the father was the guy who cheated, so who was surprised that he never sat out a game to let her play, even though she wanted to. I just have never wanted to be one of those girls when it was a game I liked to play. Volleyball or water-skiing, sure I'll sit and gossip. But basketball, pick-up football, softball, dodgeball? I'll always be the only girl in the mix. I have a long history of it and I'm psyched that I can continue it out here. Woohoo!

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