I’m standing in the daffodil beds at Wooden Shoe, making photographs, when a family meanders by: a mom, a dad, a four-year-old girl and a two-year-old girl. The two-year-old is leading a German Shepherd by a line. The four-year-old loves the flowers. Everyone is happy.
It’s crowded among the daffodil beds, and the dog knocks over the two-year-old. She falls in the wet sawdust. It’s an accident, and the kid’s not hurt, but she begins to wail.
“He knocked me over! He knocked over!”
I look up from my viewfinder and smile at the mother, who kneels down to comfort the girl. “It’s okay. He didn’t mean to knock you over. You’re not hurt.”
I look back in my viewfinder and then I hear a thunk. The dog yelps. I look up to see the dog whimpering and cowering. The father has kicked the dog.
I want to say something, but I didn’t actually see anything. Still: I now hate this man. He’s a fucking asshole. At this moment, every ounce of ire and ill-will in my being is focused on this bearded fuck who kicked a helpless dog. I want my glare to eat through his skull. I want him to die tomorrow. Painfully. Gnawed to pieces by a pack of German Shepherds.
What a fucking asshole.
The family walks away and the dog slinks after them, limping.
Though it’s been raining all morning, the sun has come out just in time for soccer practice. It’s good to see everyone again: Amy and Rich and Sarah and Jonathan and Laus and Kwame and Brett and Debbie (and Mac and Joel, of course). The mood is light and pleasant, and we’re excited to be playing together again.
Some softball players come up, looking for their team. “Are you with the Wonder Broads?” they ask. No, we’re not with the Wonder Broads. We’re with the Saints. We’re a bunch of losers!
We pump up the soccer balls, stretch our legs, and then take to the field, passing back and forth. Mac and Joel take a few shots on me. “How do you feel?” they ask, wary that I may not have recovered from my series of injuries last season. I feel great. My knee’s fine. I’m going to take it easy this season, going to stay healthy the whole time, going to have fun.
We split up into two six-player teams for scrimmage. I’m playing defense with Cassie, a new team-member.
Things go well for the first few minutes. Then, I plant my write foot and twist and my knee goes crunch and I collapse in a pile of curses and agony.
I drag myself from the field and wait for the pain to subside. The knee’s a little sore, a little tender, but I put myself back in the game. I’m very ginger with the knee. Then I go for a ball and plant my foot and twist and my knee goes crunch and I collapse in a pile of curses and agony.
I’d looked forward to playing soccer this season. It’s not going to happen.
The bright side is I’ll have more free time�
On the way home, I stop at Excalibur Comics to see if they have the third issue of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They don’t (they’ve already sold the only copy they ordered), but Debbie takes it upon herself to call around to her competitors until she finds somebody who does have a copy and she asks them to hold it for me. Yet another reason I’m completely loyal to Excalibur, the best comic book shop in Portland.