Elodie: I’m watching the basketball game
Elodie: The Michigan players are literally just running in circles in the wrong direction on the court because they’re trying to waste time, but I keep thinking, “That’s exactly what I looked like when I played basketball, except that was me trying my best.”
Tara: Oh my God, I was the worst basketball player
Elodie: So was I
Elodie: You know what though? Sometimes I look back fondly on those times, because our entire circle of friends played each other at various points in basketball and we didn’t even know each other yet. We probably guarded each other and stole the ball from each other and maybe even secretly trash talked each other on the sidelines, because we were twelve years old and the game was the most important thing, and we did all of that not knowing we would all grow up to form a magical union of friendship and play video games and drink shitty beer and make dick jokes at 2 in the morning.
Elodie: Huh. That started off poignant and then it went somewhere else entirely.
Tara: I still think it was beautiful.
As a side note, Tara could not have been the worst basketball player, because I was actually the worst basketball player. My teammates secretly ranked everyone. I was actually ranked second-worst, but then the girl who actually was the worst quit, and I had to accept my new title.
Shockingly, last night Alex, Tara, Allison and I made it to the basketball game with few problems. (By “few,” I mean at one point I was barreling down the road towards a light and nobody could agree on whether I should go right or left, so I nearly clipped a mailbox.) The game itself was predictably demoralizing—one of our kids accidentally kicked the ball out of bounds—until halftime, when things started to get awesome for us. It was a real nail-biter.
The real tension is between the student fan sections. They scream for blood, whatever the sport. Our rival school’s fan section was noticeably more impressive, probably due to the fact that they all live on that side of town and did not nearly take out any mailboxes en route. So their chanting of “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” was both obnoxious and unnerving. I always think that unless we’re the ones doing the cheering.
Anyway, we were sucking, as usual, and I actually turned to my friends and said, “Is it too late to go sit on the other side and cheer for [rival school]?”
“I think so,” said Allison, “as we’re wearing the wrong colors.”
But then things took a turn, and we pulled ahead, and it came down to a matter of points and we won. This immediately prompted our fan section to chant “I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE WON!” as well as the typical “THIS IS OUR HOUSE [clap clap clapclapclap],” which, when you’re chanting it at a school that is not your own, is the biggest “fuck you” you can give as a collective student body without actually chanting the words “fuck you.” Our principal was pacing threateningly, just in case things got out of hand. This was not his first rodeo. He still remembers fiascos of years past. He still remembers the year my class tried to crowd-surf a freshman and sent him careening out of the fan section at the homecoming football game. He’s ready for anything.
Anyway, we walked out of there winners, and Alex walked out of there with a sombrero that was not his, and he wasn’t entirely sure how he got it.
Tonight is the big basketball game between my old high school and our rival school. My brother Alex is going and I have to drive him, and because our rival school is literally in the middle of nowhere and I’m sure as hell not making the drive unless I’m staying, I invited Tara and Allison along too. Long story short, if you’re reading this it’s because I didn’t make it back in time to write a post. Now, there could be a number of reasons for this:
- The game went long and we actually stayed the whole time. (Unlikely. Our team sucks. Our only saving grace is that it will be over quickly.)
- We got lost either on our way there or on our way back, and the four of us are lost in the woods somewhere contemplating which of us would go first in a Donner Party situation. (Extremely likely, because of the four of us, we all only “sort of” know how to get there.)
- I was too lazy to delete all of this and write an actual post.
In case it’s option 3, I’m at least going to make this post worthwhile. The rivalry between Us and Rival School goes way, way back. All loyalties are cast aside and friendships placed on the back burner the week of a game, whether it be football, hockey, soccer, or basketball. And there are tangible differences between the two schools. For instance, our school is in town, whereas theirs… I have been there perhaps twenty or thirty times, and I still don’t know exactly where it is. It’s that rural.
As I’m writing this, I’m trying to find something to wear that is both a) warm, and b) school spirit-y. It’s causing problems. As you’re reading this, I may very well be trooping through the eerie backwoods of our town, hoping moss will point me toward civilization. Future Me, I wish you luck, and godspeed.