I played lacrosse in high school. This wasn’t really a special achievement since at my school everyone had to play a team sport. Still, just as a quick aside, I have recently realized the importance of team sports. Now, finally, light-years later, I get it: the team, a group of people working together, depending on each other, communication without words, all that. Why didn’t our gym teacher just say that to begin with? Miss Guilfillan, Miss Yarnell, in your kilts and your kneesocks, your whistles and windbreakers, why didn’t you just tell us: Okay okay ladies, hustle up! Everybody in. You know all this? The teamwork, the practice, the skills, the goals, the winning and losing and how you deal with it? It’s a metaphor people. It’s a goddam, motherfucking metaphor. All right? LET’S GO!! (I don’t know why I just made Miss Guilfillan sound like Samuel L. Jackson).
Yeah. I played lacrosse. The first year I played goalie. I didn’t really want to, but I did. Even in my formative years I was the person to volunteer when no one else would.
“”We’re doing shooting drills today ladies and we’re gonna need a goalie. Who wants to put the pads on?
Manning?....Featherman? Come on, we can’t practice until we get someone in the goal.
(sigh) I’ll do it.
Atta girl, Lowry.
I wasn’t very good. I was too small and I did not like having balls thrown at my head (insert crude joke here) but I didn’t mind being alone and I was the only volunteer. In a few weeks I was on the varsity team. I remember my mantra was Let’s get this over with. Everyone did their best to keep the ball at the other end of the field which was fine with me because it gave me time to daydream and watch the sideline activity.
At this time, there was a new teacher at school, Mr. Driscoll. We didn't have many male teachers then, I went to an all girls school, so he was a superstar celebrity. Handsome in that preppy/ half-ugly/ long teeth/short upper lip way, he loved all the attention, and made sure to make regular appearances at lunch, sporting events and school dances.
And now introducing for your learning pleasure, the fabulous, the fantastic, the one and only Mr....Jim....Driscoll!
(swirling lights, loud applause, trumpet theme song)
I didn't buy it. There was something creepy about him, not in a dangerous pedophile way, just in an ex-jock teaching at a small private school way. He sniffed and crossed his arms before speaking. He was sarcastic. He used big vocabulary words. He taught philosophy.
Once at one of our last games he put his hands around his mouth and yelled Get Lewis out of there. She's a sieve! At first I heard my name and thought he was cheering me on but then I realized the word he used was Sieve. Sieve! The guy was trash talking a 14 year old. Me! With a fancy word! And I had volunteered!
I don't know what ever happened to Mr. Driscoll, maybe he's still teaching philosophy to high school girls, trash talking easy targets in his spare time, walking through the hallways with a jaunty little spring in his step or maybe he's working in an office, following orders, philosophizing over why things are not always what you think they are.