Friday, October 3, 2008

Two stories of a grain

I struggled to eat my dinner as a 6-year-old. I didn't like vegetables, and Looney Tunes distracted me a room and a half away. I didn't sit on my butt, preferring instead to fold my legs underneath a restless, skinny body. I took several trips to the bathroom, but I doubt I peed each time.

I anxiously awaited a call from athletic Patrick, gorgeous Lindsay, dorky Doug or even punk Nick from across the street. He took MC Hammer dance classes. Even as 6-year-olds we knew that was a plea for attention.

"Come out and play baseball," the caller would say, and I'd ask my parents if I could without waiting for an answer. Off I went to smack a tennis ball around a suburban backyard until one of us got pissed off enough to call it off.

"Go home!" Doug would say after Nick knocked off his spectacles. We would scatter back to our parents and anxiously await the next night's call to action.

I got home last night after a long week of work. I had plenty of cleaning to do around the house since my parents would arrive in a few days. I couldn't focus on the task at hand. I browsed Internet news and read a random page from The Catcher in the Rye. I took a shower. I heard my phone buzzing in my bedroom while I dried myself. It was a voicemail from Ryan. He wanted to talk football and drink with the boys.

I called Daniel. He told me he was already throwing a football at the field. I left the house 30 seconds later and sped to campus.

We threw until Daniel and Ryan wore sweat stains and I messed up my pants. Then it was off to Franklin Street for sports, girl and family talk over $2 well drinks at Carolina Coffee Shop.

"Let's go home," I said a little after 1 a.m. We went back to our places and anxiously awaited the next day's festivities: family, hot dogs, beer and Carolina vs. Connecticut on a sunny, crisp October Saturday.

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