I’m going to sleep like the dead.

The last couple nights I stayed up really late. Last night, I took the last ferry home. I didn’t get home until after 2am. Didn’t get to sleep until around 3:30. Had to get up for a meeting at 9:00 in Seattle, which means I had to be on the 7:20am boat, which means I had to get up at 6:00, which means I went to work on 2.5 hours of sleep. This is the price you pay for going out on a weeknight if you live in Bremerton. There’s no boat home between the relatively mild hour of 10:30 and the irresponsibly late 12:50 boat…(which, ironically, is never late enough to catch the last band at a club – you know, the one you paid to see.)
What’s worse, I had plans for today that would last the entire day, including a lunch with some higher-ups on the software dev teams that I support, and a “friendly” game of broomball late in the evening, in a town that’s pretty freaking far from where I live. OK, so I’m a fucking zombie and I’m way overbooked. Not good. To make matters worse, something I ate the day before had me running to the bathroom every hour or so. I suspect the pho. There I am at the end of the work day. I’ve been falling asleep behind the wheel, and at my desk, all day long. I have to go play this game, which I’ve never played, with guys I don’t really know, way out in Renton. I’m not athletic, in the least, and I have the shits. Super.

So all day long I’m like “This is ridiculous! Why am I torturing myself? I should fucking bail!” but then another voice is saying “Don’t puss out. You don’t want to look like a puss, do you? And besides, you never do anything like this!” Anyway, I guess the desire for novel experience, and the fact that I’m so cheap that I didn’t want to forfeit the $20 I’d paid to participate won out in the end. I made my way down to the ice rink, put on some sweat pants, and passed out in my car. I had about a half hour to kill before the other guys showed up. I snoozed as best as I could with the grim spectre of athletic embarrassment hanging over my head.
The other guys showed up, minus the guy who invited me, who happens to be the one I know the best. Crap. It ended up not being so bad. The other guys were super friendly and welcomed me to the game. I put on my gloves and knee pads and started getting REALLY nervous. Some of the other guys had helmets. Shit. I had no helmet. I’ll fast forward through the half hour of milling about in an awkward social situation (that is any social situation, for me) and get to the action.
Broomball, if you’re not familiar, involves running around on a rough non-Zamboni’d ice surface in street shoes, flailing a wooden broom handle with a rubber paddle on the end, batting a ball into a goal at either end. Think of it as the back-yard-football of hockey…for people who can’t skate. I forgot to mention, it was fucking freezing in there. I hadn’t planned for this somehow. (They have to keep the ice frozen! What was I thinking?) I was suitably dressed, as it turned out. Moving around on an ice rink in tennis shoes takes quite a bit of effort, both to start and stop, and also to keep your body from falling in a painful way. I generated a lot of heat and was sweating profusely by the end.
In all honesty, I’m not good at sports. I’m afraid of getting hit in the face with the ball, any ball, in any sport. Soccer is right out. I’m also overweight and have a hard time running constantly, especially when the cold air makes my mouth taste like blood after 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I was exhausted, wheezing, bruised up from falling several times and sliding and I felt like I could barely walk. I dove after the ball and lunged at it with my stick and took another spill. You know that part of the movie Parenthood where the kid’s singing “When you’re sliding into first and you’re feeling something burst…” Turns out that’s pretty much true. I very nearly made an already embarrassing situation incalculably worse. I hastily excused myself and took a quick bathroom break and sanity check. What the fuck was I thinking running around like this on no sleep, with intestinal distress and so out of shape that I was probably risking a coronary event? I coughed, hacked, pulled myself together and made my way back to the ice. One of the guys, sensing my sorry state, asked if I’d like to goalie for a while. That gave me a chance to catch my breath, and also make a couple saves. It’s nice to feel like you can do something useful for a team. And since taking up space is something I’m good at, I guess goalie is the best place for me. I did let one get by, but nobody’s perfect. After my turn at goalie, I rotated back in and started playing other positions. I started breathing easier, I’m not sure why. Endorphins? I had a few more rough spills and twisted my knee at one point, but nothing that kept me from finishing out the game. There were a few guys there who were superstar maniacs, running and diving and flipping over everything that came their way. That’s just never gonna be me, but I did my best and I had a good time. I’m glad I went, and I’m glad I stuck with it. But most of all I’m glad I didn’t shit myself in front of a bunch of coworkers.
I drove home through snow and rain, still coughing from the cold air, and got home around 12:30am. I am beyond tired, but I felt I had to record the moment because it’s so out of character for me. Thanks for listening.


2 Responses to “I’m going to sleep like the dead.”

  1. 2 Stacius
    December 15, 2008 at 3:56 am

    All that and you were glad you went. You’re whoever you wanna be.
    Good shit happens to those who go get it WAY more often than it does for those who wait.

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