Friday, February 27, 2009

Rise and Shout

Right now I could totally pass for a vampire - if seen from far away and through very squinty eyes.

I'm pale white, have circles under my eyes, my throat fills with flames when I breathe, and I'm ice cold.

Sick. Sick sick sick sick sick.

I HATE sick.

And because I have an extremely low tolerance to medicine, and because I've got a very busy weekend and I thought it would be best, and because I took TheraFlu plus sore throat lozenges plus a nasal decongestant, I can't think straight.

Is anyone getting this? Because my head is floating away ....

So today, for your reading enjoyment, I am posting an essay on "description" that I wrote while at college. Because I don't throw anything away on the computer, especially when the teacher liked it. And cuz it still makes me smile.

Now I'm going to go drink hot cider. Because hot cider is goooood when you feel bad.

Rise and Shout

You enter the structure with a huge smile, a little breathless from the long walk. Your face tingles with a crisp breeze that carries thousands of cheers and laughs. You quicken your pace to catch up with the dozen or so friends you came with, and link arms with your nearest roommate. She is wearing a blue T-shirt with a big white “Y” on the front—the same one you have on. She grins at you, and the blue paw print on her right cheek dimples up.

The ticket in your pocket is brought out, a little mushy from being in there so long. It is spread out, and the fourteen of you immediately commence arguing where your seats are. You consult the map on the back of the ticket and proceed to the nearest circular staircase. Up and up you climb the tunnel-like stairs—slightly out of breath, but you try to disguise it. You don’t want anyone to know how out of shape you are. Finally you emerge on a platform swarming with people. They look like thick bees bumbling over and through each other. Still arm in arm with your roommate, you (gently) push and shove through the crowd to yet another flight of stairs. This time they are straight up, and you have to cling to the rail. You follow the friend in front of you down a long row of screaming college students, and stand at attention in front of your assigned seat.

With a deep breath of sweat and excitement, you survey the world around you. The sun shines directly in your eyes, so you bring your hand up as a shield. Thousands of people become visible, in a strange mix of blue and white and yellow. They look like a Monet painting—blurs of moving color. The very air around you tingles with electricity. You spin around and awe at the barely visible mountains, peeking out of the stands behind you. They are truly purple majesties, presiding over the game. The moon faces the sun, translucent as a pearl.

It’s time to focus. The crowd lets out a loud, “aaaaAAAAWWWWWWW!” building in intensity as a man in a dark blue uniform kicks an oval ball. He is too far away to see clearly, but you watch the massive screen to your left. Eleven men on the other side of the field run after the ball, and one catches it. The crowd sits down to watch as two teams battle for possession. Most scuffles end in large heaps, men in black and white waving their arms frantically. It is the classic American struggle: slowly gain ground, then lose it. Divide and conquer. Take possession. Grunt. Hit.

But let’s face it. You don’t really know much about the game. You came here for the experience.

You engage in passionate hand-holding with your significant other, and simultaneously carry on a conversation with your best friend about who’s getting married in the ward. (It’s up to forty-three percent.) Periodically your conversation is interrupted by warming bouts of “Popcorn Popping” and the wave. Your face hurts from smiling and your bottom hurts from sitting. Occasionally you glance at the score and let out an encouraging whoop.

“Anybody want the Creamery?” your roommate asks. You stand up with two other friends to begin your descent below ground, giggling excitedly about the passionate hand-holding session you just had.

Underneath the stands is a comparatively dark labyrinth of people and food. The smell of calories and fat knock you to the ground. Your mouth waters. A few damp bills are unearthed from your pocket and you try to decide between mint chocolate chip or strawberry cheesecake. You get one scoop of each.

Back at your seats, a scandal is in process. Your roommate’s ex-boyfriend has just asked out another roommate. (What was he thinking?) The latter friend, though happy, is trying to hide it. The former friend, suddenly very interested in the game, squeezes the blood out of your hand. The ex-boyfriend is clueless.

After a few brief eye-conversations, you turn to update your boyfriend. Guys can only talk with their mouths.

The band commences a loud rendition of Eye of the Tiger and all the boys around you begin jabbing the air with their fists with goofy grins plastered on their faces. Dozens of people are filtering onto the field and you realize it’s halftime. Your boyfriend turns to you with bunched up eyebrows and a frown and peppers you with questions about the last play. You nod in some key places, but generally haven’t a clue what he’s talking about. You make a mental note to ask him questions when there aren’t so many people around.

Camera flashes go off and you pile into a group shot, absentmindedly fixing your hair. You hug your slighted roommate and whisper that you love her. She looks like she just drank sour milk. You give her the rest of your ice cream and all is better.

The game continues, and this time you try to focus, but your boyfriend is playing with your hair. How can you focus with that? It is getting dark, and the adrenaline rush is over. Everyone stays seated, even during really fantastic plays.

When the score is up 21-7, the group stands to leave.

As you walk home, the hum of the crowd is still audible, and the electricity and happiness still present. Your throat is raw with screaming. You go to sleep with a smile and a blue pawprint on your face.

This is BYU football.


Lara said...

I loved this! I relate to just about everything you wrote, except, I went to watch the game. My roommates socialized, I was out there with the guys yelling at the refs. That's what you get when you grow up as the daughter of a former BYU football player. :)

Kristina P. said...

I hope you feel better soon!

wonder woman said...

Sorry you're sick. And so doped up. It's hard being a mommy when you can't focus on anything outside of your body or head that's about to explode.

LOVED THE ESSAY. It's so perfect. The money painting, absentmindedly fixing your hair, boyfriends that only speak with their've nailed it, girl. :o) I miss BYU football games!! (I live really close. Superman and I just need to go sometime.)

Heather of the EO said...

Sorry you're sick. But I'm NOT sorry you're such an amazing writer.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I didn't even go to BYU and I loved that story. I hope you feel better soon!

Boy Mom said...

Sorry you're sick, Amazing essay!

Alisa said...

I'm sorry you're sick. We have a guy names Crazy something. Crazy Jim, Crazy get the the picture. He shows up at all the local sporting events to get the crowd worked up. It's not a game without him.
I didn't go to BYU either but I felt like I was right there with you. Great job.

JustRandi said...

"Guys can only talk with their mouths."
bwahahaha! You hit it on the head!

Hope you feel better soon!

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

And that is why we have season tickets :)

I sent you an email- so if you did not get it- here is my email- and I am sorry you are sick! Do you mind if I copy your post on your YM and put it on my blog? I think it is one of the most awesome posts out there and would love to share it with my family, if that is okay-

heidizinha said...

ummmm...was that me?

the only reason i ask is when you said "i gave her my ice cream, and it made it all better." ice cream makes EVERYTHING better.

Kimberly said...

That was brilliant!

Being sick though...not so brilliant. Really hope it passes quickly for you. I react to medicine much the same way. I always feel I'm being naughty as it sends my head to this entirely "other" place.

Rachel said...

I was so there. Man. That's it. You're right. That's BYU football.

Christa Jeanne said...

GREAT essay, ThatGirl!!! Seriously, you are such an amazing writer. Loved it!

Not loving that you're sick, however. Sorry to hear that - no fun!!! I hope you can get lots of rest and get better soon!

Jen said...

My roomies and I never attended a football game together. Isn't that like some kind of sacrilige?

Kazzy said...

I am a total sports fanatic, so I always watched every second of the game. But I am a social animal too, so it was exhausting to get both fixes! Great essay. You captured a mood. :)

Debbie said...

here is so much sickness around now. I hope you get well soon.

Terresa said...

Hi there! Love your blog.

I was a missionary in Uruguay (you know, that tiny country south of Brazil) about 10 years ago. I feel a kinship to Brazil because I taught quite a few Brazilians back in the day. I also spent a few P-days in Jagauro (sp?) and Chuy, both southern-area Brazilian/Uruguayan border towns.

Anyhoooo, your blog is fun, real, and shows insight to a foreign country that is almost tangible. I love the family twist to it, too! (The pic of your laundry room after a vacation was worth 1,000 words!)

PS: I found you via Mormon Mommy blogs. My blog is also up for vote (Chocolate chip waffle).

Enjoy some Garotos and steak/asado for me! ;) Chau!

Lorie said...

Feel better!!

Rachel H said...

Ok, I am not the first to ask...but I hope you don't mind I totally copied and posted your wonderful post about the young men in your ward as well!! GOOD NEWS Like that MUST be spread, no?

The Motherboard said...

You are simply brilliant!