At six thirty this morning my blaring alarm sounded. I moved my arm across the bed, eyes still shut, to find my iPhone so that I could swipe it to silence. As my hand brushed across the new flannel sheets I bought on sale for twenty bucks at Target two days ago, I felt a sense of extreme relaxation and comfort. I know this about myself and am always careful to make sure that I set multiple alarms in case I drift back off to sleep once I have found yet another comfortable position. My favorite time to sleep has always been just after the alarm has sounded my call to duty for the day.
I finally forced my feet to find their way to the hardwood floor. After a cup of coffee, which I don’t normally drink, a shower and a quick email check, I gathered my belongings and jumped into my truck. I headed to the commissary where I was to meet my friend so that we could load up his cart and head off for the day.
We arrived at our set location for the day and began unloading the goods. Our placement was perfect, the weather not as much. Cold clouds caused a damp, bleak persona for the morning. Nonetheless, all of the players arrived in their designated uniforms and cleats. They stomped through the grass to their specified field and began their warm-ups.
I was pleased with the breeze and the exceptionally white sky. It was not so bright that I needed my sunglasses on and it was not too dark that it made me feel sad. I wore my favorite sweatshirt and was content that it was just brisk enough that I didn’t have to take it off to remain comfortable.
One of the player’s grandparents approached to chat about the upcoming Giants game tonight. I nodded and hoped to look knowledgeable about this topic.
A dad with three children carefully tried to carry four lawn chairs, a small cooler and adjust his sunglasses simultaneously. He dropped all four chairs and his sunglasses. The cooler survived the inevitable disaster.
A twelve year old boy in his terrifically clean uniform boasted about how his friend owns Dirito Brothers.
I watched a girl, roughly three years old, attempt to chase her own shoes with the intent of disconnecting a wrapper that had stuck to the bottom of her left foot. As logic would have it, she fell down…..thrice.
A black Labrador retriever sniffed around and peed on our extra stock of sodas as his owner looked off into the distance and scratched her right boob.
Idly I stood as a stack of napkins blew across the paved walkway. Two women in their Chanel jogging suits attempted to catch each napkin and they eventually crashed into one another as one was bent over and the other was walking backwards. One butt in one head.
A woman, looking in her late thirties, wearing expensive black clothing and a tremendous amount of jewelry fell out of the port-a-potty. She then stumbled forward. Finally she caught her stance and then turned around and scoffed at the port-a-potty as if it shoved her out. She was genuinely pissed off at the inanimate object (it is undecided whether or not the pun was intended).
Standing there I realized in a flash of thought that I was relaxed. The stress, sadness and sorrow of the last two weeks were no longer my pilot. I was enjoying simple and easy tasks. Breathing was not difficult. Smiling was not a strain. Laughing was not inappropriate. I had been released from the tragedy that held me captive for the last two weeks.
People began to approach us to inquire whether we were open for the day. We scrambled and met a few quick orders so as not to turn customers away. Once we had finally completed all of our prep work we were officially open for business. Within a quick second everyone within a half mile could hear the intense and booming words he forced across and beyond the fields,
“HOOOOT DOOOOGS! COME AND GET YOUR HOOOOT DOOOGS!”