Saturday, October 10, 2009

0-6 for Homecoming

A three-item agenda
Violin Lesson, 10am, moved up 1/2 hour
Soccer Game, arrive 11:30am
Dale Music, buy spare string and piano accompaniment. Visit Bonanza if open.

Since it was 8am Saturday morning, I asked for the key. It was simple work, a bit congested in Bethesda, but mostly just crusing at 40mph. Mommy was saying at one point, "speed up with all the other cars"."Look, I'm going over the limit. Now if one of the police pulls me over and writes a ticket and DC DMV finds out (by point assessment or a dedicated civil servant) then I'll have to wait another 6 months" (I can get a provisional license with a clean record in one month). "Well why would they target you?" "b/c this is an out of state car" "that's ridiculous" "No, OK then go ahead and drive with your full licence" But if the drivers behind me didn't appreciate my fear of law, they could admire my quick response to a light changed to green. A first time for a U-turn, and a perfect 90 degree pull-in at the Maxim Oriental Grocery for a quick stop.

There are two certainties about the soccer team:
1) Someone from the chang family will score in the last five minutes of a half
2) There is no thing as a game with two losing halves.

Having left from a violin lesson late in Gaithersburg, and waited a good 100 seconds at the stoplight on Muncaster Mill and Shady Grove road, I hoped that I would make it to Terra Cotta (Michigan Park) in half an hour, to get some pre game prep. Coming onto the 355/ Veirs Mill Road split, I decided to take the diagonal route, but, there was road work. Also, there was a broken bus. On closer inspection, there was a bus and a car and the car had some damage, blocking two lanes. Even past the debacle, there was traffic on the one open lane. Cancel the thought of getting to prep on time. It was already 11:40am. Re-enter 355 on Edmonston Lane, hit more shopping mall stoplights and slow moving traffic with drivers with slow response times. A yellow light. "No, not Randolph Road!" Mommy said; "Can't get a good stop (the pavement was wet) The brake is vibrating, maybe because of the way you were driving earlier." I then remembered, "Could've taken I-370 to 270 to the Beltway. But then I remembered, "I don't know how to get from the Beltway to school! Knowles Avenue. Garrett Park. A one-stoplight town with an attic-in-the-street sale today. "I always like this town when we come through. This is a nice suburb. 12:00pm. Maybe I could make it for the starting whistle. Beech drive. I saw 355 again. Please don't let me go the wrong way. No, those were the Gaithersburg bound lanes. I was reoriented. 90 degree turn away from Stoneybrook. Audubon Society. Stoplight at Jones Mill, a lineup at East West, a green light. Woodbine, Wyndale- I rember that. What the jalepeno, "turn here". Daniel rd. Yes, "turn here". Oregon Avenue, 12:30pm. The game started without me. Military Rd, Ft. Totten Metro.

I ran inside and pulled on my jersey. Teabag told me, "They're wearing white". I ran back inside, past the kids who were throwing snappers at people who past by, and put on my alban white #12 jersey as I walked nervously towards the field. Had mommy apologized on my behalf? Yes, I felt awkward. I walked behind the bench. "A., M., get K., T. Oh, Atticus, you're here." G. then walked off the field holding his nose. K, you're back on. "Atticus, get something--get" "gauze?" I used a lot of that over the summer. Nosebleeds, large scrapes, use that. I took four packs and some paper towels. The athletic director was attending the situation. "So it's hard to use too much of this gauze. Sterile 12 ply. It wasn't a serious injury, within 2 minutes the player was back in the game.
Atticus, get A. Yes, I made a run. Valiantly my comrade was breaking with the ball. "Cross, cross, I suggested. Um. Maybe he didn't want me to make his goal. End of the half. 0-0, tied.

The other subs were put in again during the next half. "We have subs now. Come out if you need a break", called the coach. I wondered,"would I get played again". There had to be consequences for tardiness and truancy (something that didn't quite meet my situation). No, I was put in for relief twice more.
"I've let down the team. I really did", I thought. They worked brilliantly in the first half, but then, something happened. Maybe the Maret Frogs let out their varsity players on us. One goal went in. A corner kick. Bad Luck. A second. A cross and shoot. Exactly what we did in practice. Two goals, twenty minutes to go. Let's carpe diem this game. A third. A fourth, a fifth, a sixth.

A Captain, coming off 2 minutes before the game was over, commented on the game; "(Darn) it", with an annoyed tone of voice.
In the 17 minutes I played (14 in the 2nd half), no goals were made. I finished the game and congratulated the other team.

Did our team burn out? Because of my absence in the first 20 minutes? The goalie is the microcosm of the team, coach said. First half, played strong. Second half, lost confidence (is that an euphemism for slacked off?). But we played hard, he continued, but they're not 6 points better than us. Let's get that back on Tuesday.
Doning your best is what counts, right? If it works. (Flashback, JDS last Wednesday)

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