kicking a ball, dropping a drink, falling down

Haven’t worked on “BASE2” for a while. I enjoyed being distracted by it – I really needed the distraction – but it’s on the back burner for now. It did not represent my best work but I think it still is a good idea.

The need for distraction came from needing to get my mind off work. Every day felt like a Greek tragedy.

Some days I felt like Prometheus, chained to my rock of a desk and having my liver torn out only to go home eviscerated, heal overnight, to be forced do it all over again the next day.

Others, I felt like Sisyphus, pushing a boulder uphill only to have to tumble back down and I’d have to start all over again. Towards the end, I did not enjoy myself at all.

I feel no ill will towards anyone. I’m just happy it’s over and I can start to go back to being myself.

And last night, it came to me to write something. Anything.

The idea came late at night. I didn’t indulge the temptation. So I saved it for today and literally rolled the dice to see what could happen. What you see above is the result.

I took the time to write what I’m calling “Three Falls”. It’s not a whole story, just the start to one.

Three Falls

“Simon!” Trish yelled from the sidelines. “Terry is open!”

Simon looked over to see her cupping her hands to her mouth, yelling at him to pass the ball to Terry. “He’s open, for fuck’s sake.”

Caught between taking the ball and running with it and listening to his girlfriend – also the coach of their little pick-up soccer league – he tripped over his own two feet. He saw himself as if in a tv show, floating majestically through the air in slow motion, maybe some classical music playing, before the world became all too real when his face mashed into the grass.

The opposing team lunged for the ball and took it back down the field. It was several seconds – felt like hours – before the referee blew the whistle. The twelve year old came jogging over and bent down to check on Simon.

“You doing okay, sir?” The boy asked. They’d hired him from the town – apparently the recreation department rents out their referees for all kinds of sporting events.

He got himself to a sitting position, and cleared his face of loose grass, dirt and debris. “Did you just call me sir?”

“Uh, yeah. You okay? You came down pretty hard.”

“That would be about right,” Simon said, grunting as he got up on one foot. He could feel the warmth in his left ankle, which told him for sure it was twisted if not sprained.

“Let me help you, sir,” the kid said, putting Simon’s arm across is shoulder and reaching around his waist for support as Simon limped off the field.

Trish didn’t seem to notice. She had the rest of the team on the sidelines for some last minute strategy. Only as he approached the bench did she see him and start a half-hearted clap. “Good try, good try. Walk it off, Simon. Walk it off. You’re good. We got this.”

He glanced at his watch. About five minutes left in the game. He was not going to walk off anything to go back on the field. When he took his seat on the bench, he took a chug of water then scrolled through the fitness stats on his watch, smiling to himself.

“What are you so happy about?” Trish said. She alternated between watching the game and checking on him. “You should have passed to Terry.”

“Yeah. Sorry about that.”

She clapped him on the shoulder. “No worries. No worries. Want some ice for your ankle? What the fuck?”

“Excuse me?”

Trish’s attention went from him to the game. Apparently someone’s mutt ran out on the field to chase the ball. The opposing team laughed and chuckled as the dog ran around and tried to play.

“Get that fucking dog off the ruddy field!” Trish screamed, stopping the whole soccer game cold.

So much for our friendly game.

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