Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The 300 Days: Part 2 - The Sweat and The Glass

"Driving in on this highway,
All these cars and upon the sidewalk,
People in every direction..."
It sliced down his forearm to the edge of his extremities, pausing for merely a moment on the edge of his index finger before allowing the laws of gravity to take it from there.  The bead of sweat, joined by dozens more, seemed to strike the pavement in a drum-like rhythm.  Ironically, the sounds of percussion also bounced off the pavement, as Will marched forward, covered in red, white, blue, and the saline that was currently draining from his body.
It was September 11, and the patriotism of Columbus was made known by the bellowing of an army of drunks.  However, this day's vitality would not be measured nor bound to the act of cowards barely over a decade prior, but rather on a beautiful, green piece of sod; a pitch, to be specific.  The battlefield was Crew Stadium; the enemy:  Mexico.
Me gusta.
Two hours prior, Will had quickly changed his wardrobe at school and was now looking for a parking space near the stadium.  The World Cup only occurs once every four years, and the day’s match could determine, essentially, who would be top seed on the continent and earn a bid to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  Needless to say, there were supporters from all over the country that would do their part of ensuring “Dos-a-Cero” would repeat itself for an unheard of 4th consecutive time at Crew Stadium.
It seemed as though that each of the continental United States were represented on this day, and Will drove around a one mile radius, looking for any vacancy his fuel-efficient economy car could fill.  To his chagrin, he would end up parking about a mile and a half northwest of where he would normally park for a soccer game.  The game was still three hours away, so he knew that his luck would not improve.  So with that, he tied his stars and stripes bandana over his brow, and paced quickly to meet up with his fellow supporting brethren.  After only two minutes, Will’s skin was a salty film, a product of the day’s hot and humid conditions.

Five hours later, two American goals later, and 90+ minutes of stellar play later, “Dos a Cero” again reigned supreme.  Columbus Crew Stadium once again became the Mecca of US Soccer, and hell on Earth for Mexico.  His voice hoarse, his skin a leathery mixture of sweat and Budweiser that showered him from above after each goal, Will just wanted to drive home, exfoliate the excess freedom from his epidermis, and get some sleep; after all, it was still a school night (Will regretted not taking the next day off, in retrospect).
As Will meandered the side streets in the surrounding neighborhood, he considered how amazing the shower would feel, the cool water refreshing his skin.  As he neared closer to his car, he wondered how bad traffic would be, and how long it would take him to get home.  As he arrived at his automobile, he exclaimed “what the hell?!”
There, scattered all over the street were shards of glass, the spot formerly reserved for his driver’s side window was now vacant with air.  Tiny specs of glass peppered the interior as well, on his seat, in the cup-holder, on the passenger’s seat, and on the floor….where his laptop bag had once sat.
No me gusta.
Some three or so hours later, after speaking on the phone with the police, insurance, and his fiance, he carefully sat down atop the pieces of broken glass using an old college textbook as a cushion, and shut the door. The impact caused another explosion of glass from within the door.  Will cringed and grimaced both at the noise and his predicament.
Nothing could be done.  Because the contents of the laptop bag were not sufficient enough to file a police report, the crime would go unsolved.  The only satisfaction that Will got (if there could even be such a thing from this) was the fact that the perpetrator likely thought he was getting a new, fancy piece of equipment, only to find dozens of student pre-assessments and his school photographs.  So, whoever this colossal asshole was now knew that Will resembled a sedentary Zac Efron, that he was a teacher, and that his students did not know shit about science.

You never consider how deafening the highway actually is until you drive with your window down. The only one of Will’s senses that wasn’t numb from the day’s activities was his sense of touch, which he was also losing.  At 2 am, he arrived home, showered, and collapsed in a heap.  What seemed like the instant his eyes shut, his alarm went off, and Will’s day began anew. He concluded that he would do the professional thing and contact his principal, Mr. Evans, to alert him of the situation.  Normally, losing property of this type (especially pre-tests) was not too big of a deal, however, these were state mandated pre-assessments.  
At the end of the day, Mr. Evans came into Will’s classroom and listened to his tale of patriotism and larceny.  He was very understanding of the situation and even made light of the situation, stating “man, that sucks….and that was a great game too!”  He simply said that Will would need to have the students re-take the assessment (which would only take perhaps 10 minutes).
Will slept easier that night, knowing that he had the backing of his administrator, and a brand new window on his car.  “This was only a hiccup,” he thought to himself, “this will be a funny story to tell further down the road.” Such naivety.  As that would indeed be the most enjoyable tragedy he would endure henceforth.  He surely would have preferred to have sacrificed a hundred windows and laptop bags before he would choose to experience the coming months....

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