More Lyrical Essay Adventures
Here’s another go at it:
There He Is
There he is.
I can see him up there, at the crest of the hill.
Sid Scott. Star forward for the varsity soccer team.
Oh god, he’s running towards me, quads rippling from his Diadora shorts like some heavenly wave of muscle and sex and lord have mercy, I’ve got to get busy. Check hair, laces, tuck in jersey, and yes, that’s the ticket—juggle the ball and look swift, maybe kick it a little in his direction so he has to stop, punt it back.
“Hey,” he says to Stephanie, my teammate.
She smiles, her freckled cheeks like little starbursts of joy. “What’s up?” she says, because she is that smooth. She checks the clips on either side of her dark ponytail, bends down to tie a shoelace, making it all look so easy and so what if I’m jealous? So what if I’m sixteen and still haven’t for reals kissed? From where I’m standing now, I can smell the Old Spice Sid is wearing and it’s not a particularly controllable thing for a girl when she can no longer feel her own feet touching the ground, her body gone some place wobbly and vaporous, like how I felt that one time in Chem class after I oops mixed the hydrochloric acid with the bleach, but what I’m saying is experience shouldn’t matter. It’s a feeling kinda thing and I know now that this is more than a crush, that this could be—
“What time is your game tomorrow?” says Sid. His gaze is intent on Stephanie, determined as a striker before taking the winning shot. He rubs the top of his head, a dark mat of sweaty hair that outlines his pale, freckled face.
“I don’t know. I think it’s at four. On the lower field,” Stephanie says. She is done fidgeting and I have stopped juggling the ball in order to study this world of flirt, this little tutorial of tricks so that maybe, when he turns to run back up the hill he will notice me and my two braids, my blue eye shadow, my can-do lips.
“Good, I think I can come,” Sid says. “You want me to be there?”
Stephanie puts her hand on his shoulder for balance, then arcs her back to catch her left foot with her left hand and pull into a quadriceps stretch. Little A-cup breasts announce themselves across her jersey where before there was flatland and I think, yeah, wish I’d thoughtta that one. She sighs, takes her time, then looks at him. “Sure, come to the game. That’d be cool,” then oh, his muscles lift again and he is off, running back to the men’s field without a first glance my way but I am wide-eyed open-mouth flat-out spent. I take a breath. Find my body again. Walk over to Stephanie.
“Is he like, coming to our game? Coming to see you play?” I say.
She pauses. “Well…yeah.”
“Sid Scott is coming to watch you play? I mean, oh-my-GOD!”
I punch her in the arm because maybe I wanted to hit her harder or maybe I just wanted to say Hey, good work! or maybe that means When will it be my turn? but she steps back and looks confused, then laughs a little at something I don’t get.
“Katey,” she says, “Sid Scott is my brother.”