For years I had a crush on a guy who had had a crush on me, but initially I wasn’t interested. He reminded me of a grease monkey in his onesie with a rag in his back pocket. But who doesn’t want full service ultimately? He was hot with a mustache and that filling station style grew on me. I found myself day dreaming and moony, almost getting teary eyed in my revelries around my period. I wondered what our puppies would look like? If I could actually move in to his place even though it wasn’t my kind of special place. My mother was definitely interested, hiring him to indulge in her newest fetish of stained glass in all her windows and doors, showing off his work as if he was doing it for free. I expected to nurture my lust on the sly forever. Until finally I decided what the hell I would flirt or do something to give him a sign but no licking lips or flicking hair. I threw a party for his birthday surprising him with naked pictures of gay centerfolds torn from the pages of BLUE BOY balloons and cake. It worked and he asked me out. With his massive hands on the wheel of his custom truck I was captive when he launched into a monologue about feminine hygiene. A lecture on the correct direction that girls must wipe felt like a preparatory class. Crack to snatch he insisted was disgusting and he waited for my ratification. I knew then I would never wipe the way he wanted me to. Not ever. When he used the word cooch about an ex and how beet feces ended up there and in his mouth, I found myself relieved and asked him to take me home. I learned then to crush a crush takes a bit of uneasy listening.
When I was not such a young girl, I bought a Rubik’s cube. If you don’t know they come already solved. When I removed it from the package I set it for three moves off. Then put it in my purse. At a friends house I casually took it out and made a big show of struggling to solve it in under a minute. Decades later my friend still imagines I have some facility with intelligence.
My review of Spanish vs Italian. Take the number fifteen. The Spanish pronounce it “keen-say”. A king sound but with a sleepy troll of a dialect. The Italians with all the force of empire say QUEEN-DE-SHE. And while one word might not seem like a fair review, remember Socrates always holding up 1 finger.
When I first started playing beach volleyball my focus was beating boys. Since high school I had formed the belief that I was just as good as any boy and I wanted to prove it. Probably still sore that girls weren’t allowed to play little league. It didn’t seem fair that I couldn’t even place my piece on the board. I felt relegated to the status of a groupie instead of player and I didn’t want to be a cheerleader.
Unfortunately with volleyball the vast majority of serious jocks didn’t want to play with girls. They were stronger bigger jumped higher and I had to concede that no matter how hard I trained, I physically was not equivalent and that messed with my head. When I was lucky enough to get a mixed game it was like keep away. If a guy swung and pounded the ball, he would apologize that it was hit it in my direction even before I could pass it.
Eventually I met Butch May. This was before his daughter became arguably one of the best all time beach volleyball players ever. Butch to my horror put me in a corner up at the net. He took the entire backcourt and most of the front forcing me to only set. I would never have gone along with this with any other partner, but Butch was a beach volleyball legend “a mixed doubles specialist.”
Butch taught me to serve the weakest player mercilessly and basically run the offense by telling him where to put the ball. Identify who was cheating in one direction or tired or making mistakes or just weak. I learned to call out quickly and articulately ~ right after setting and Butch would execute just as precisely.
I had wanted to play offense but sports was scoring. So that was the game I learned to play in my first years of beach volleyball. Against women I could physically play offense. Against men because of my height and musculature I had to call out the offense, set, and serve to get a respectable game.
She begged for him to stop. To pull over. They had left Burning Man in the middle of the night to avoid leaving the playa in the heat. Fighting over the map neither trusted the other. With compass and flash light they became lost in the desert searching for the paved road. Trapped in the car for hours, the highway should have been a relief from their never ending fight. But the pitch black playa road was teaming with animals. They were slaughtering jack rabbits. Pygamy rabbits, antelope squirrel, yellow belied marmots, bull frogs, pacific chorus frogs, they almost killed a deer.
For awhile he tried speed, high beams, only accelerating the thumps. He tried slowing down, evasive maneuvers. Still the critters flipped up into the head lamps and got smacked. She accused him punishing her, of orchestrating this carnival firing line. Gaslighting her. And instead of addressing her concerns. He took exception to her words. Her intonation. Insinuations.
She made a grab for the wheel. He slammed on the breaks, his leg sounded the horn. He pulled over because he wanted a smoke anyway. She composed herself, feeling her head, adjusting her feather fascinator. A coyote howled in the distance while they waited for the morning light.