team player

i think about the decades of my life that went by before i realized that i didn't recognize people by faces. the internet was a godsend to me in my pre-teen years; for once, i could converse with people and make lasting friendships and tie memories together to the proper identity, and i didn't know why, and didn't care to consider what was missing. but seeing people face to face was exhausting, confusing; i knew the names of all my classmates, but once we shuffled out of our desks and went outside for recess, i could no longer keep anyone straight.

i played goalie for soccer and street hockey games, because it removed the hardest hurdle of any team sport: deciding whether or not i should attack the player with control of a ball. it frustrated my teammates when i was cycled into more mobile positions; in casual games, with no uniforms, all someone had to do to get a ball from me was to ask for a pass, and i'd gladly give it up. when i realized this was working against me, i stopped passing the ball at all, and then got declared a ball hog.

in third grade, frequent fights about team balance forced our teachers to determine rosters themselves, rather than let us play the awful team-picking game every recess. the teams were rotated once a week, with the lists posted next to the soccer ball checkout station. i'd commit the lists to memory every day, but they were still useless to me on the field; zach looked like jake, who looked like gary.

i gave up and played goalie, and refused to be rotated out.

later in life, i joined the town's basketball league, and we were issued colored uniforms. i never made a bad pass again.

10 March 2018 18:07

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