I have never been good at sports. I was the 90-pound girl who was picked last. The girl whose long, bony arms would bruise for days after an instructional volleyball scrimmage. And did I mention I cried for half a period when it was my turn to swing off the second story balcony of The Cage and into the bright yellow cargo net in front of me?
Yeah, sports are definitely not my forte. But even still, I found a way to semi-master the violent art of dodge ball. Ok, I was picked third to last; but still, it was an improvement! I excelled averagely at this active sport because a) little people are feisty, b) little people are fast and c) it was the only way I could hit the girls that annoyed me without getting jumped after school. All was fair in volleyball, much like love and war, and till this day I take my quick, dodging tactics everywhere I go, including first dates.
I was ready to bob and weave when out for the first time with Army Boy. After another night of usher duties, this Head Usher/baby suitor asked me out for dinner. So off we went. We hopped on the silver limo and jumped off at 42nd Street. The bright lights welcomed us as we walked side by side before entering TGIF’s. We sat at a table and I ordered my favorite beverage from that restaurant – a frozen mudslide. Army Boy, however, asked for a glass of water.
“You don’t drink?” I asked. He shook his head. “Really? I’ve never met a 21 year old who doesn’t drink.” I continued jokingly.
Army Boy brought his glass to his full lips and took a sip of ice-cold water. “Well, I’m not supposed to drink,” he replied slowly. I stopped sucking on the straw of my full-of-Baileys mudslide. I titled my head and eyed Army Boy with narrow eyes.
“What aren’t you telling me?” I replied suspiciously. Army Boy took in a deep breath and met me eye to eye. It was as if he were going to hit me with his best shot, right on the kisser. “I’m actually 20 years old,” he blurted out. I almost chocked on the mudslide that slid down my throat. I excused myself and made a run for the bathroom, dodging the conversation; if I didn’t I was sure to say something sarcastic and a little mean.“20? Shit!” I said to myself while pulling down my pants. The little bit if pee trickled slowly from my pepa™ and into the toilet. I was on a date with a man who couldn’t even take me to a bar. This would have to end; I cant live without my Bacardi and Coke! I flushed the toilet, left the bathroom stall and approached the sink, all the while thinking up strategy. How would I dodge this younging? How would I be the last one standing without getting hit by one of his balls? I wasn’t quiet sure. I’d just have to follow my athletic instincts.
We soon left the restaurant and walked side by side once again. All of sudden, I saw Army Boy reach for my hand. I quickly put my hand in my pocket. Thank God for my quick reflexes and peripheral vision! But then we were on the train. Army Boy became bolder and pulled me toward him. I cringed; my body stiffer than it was when my gym teacher made me jump off that second floor balcony in high school. There was no empty lot or gymnasium to run to in order to dodge what was coming. He put his arms around my waste and stared deep into my eyes. I looked away and continued to avoid any eye contact as best I could. And then he planted one on my lips right in between the 157th street and 168th street stop. Instead of turning and giving him my cheek, I froze. Instead of pushing a passenger in front of me, I hesitated. The kiss came flying through the air like a fast, orange dodge ball and hit me right on the kisser.
I guess I’m no good at dodge ball after all.