(Chapter 2)

“Soooo…” Sam fidgety at dawn, couldn’t hold his tongue in company. “Food?”

“Ugh. Sleep.”

“OK.” Throat cleared, so lovely uncertain. “I didn’t know if…should I …?”

Eyes closed, hooked her ankle over his. Signal to stay.

For a time, morning wore on, long shadows and mumbled stirring. Will, harmless acquaintance and everyday bureaucrat turned champion of small tasks, paused outside the shelter long enough to hear voices within (confirming folks were awake already), stepped in just as Sam looked to be pulling himself up off the pillow—

—except nope, nope nope, not quite. “Oopsshitsorrysorrysorry.” Scrambled backwards through the doorway, fell on his bottom as Sam inside bellowed. “Fuh-cking KNOCK!” Voice cracked. And Pint’s guffaws just as loud.

Will, back on his feet, still processing—angry? Or embarrassed?—when Sam stomped out, wrapped in old sheet (for belowparts) and cross-buttoned shirt, voice too high exasperated to carry hope for authority. “My GOD, man, civilization, maybe?!”

Stopped short. Zero desire to share this particular moment together—and certainly not prolong it.

And then perfect-timing Pint, fighting her stupid-happy-puppy grin, appeared and passed unencumbered. Rumpled, but besting everyone in attitude.

Both sets of eyes followed, Sam and Will, then back to each other. Sam summoned composure. “Yes? Can I help?”

Flustered Will, couldn’t for the life of him remember why he’d come. “She’s…OK, then?”

“More than.”

“I mean, she didn’t…get…when she was out there?”

“’Course not.” Sam laughing incredulous. Nodded at his own current attire, proof enough of nothing catching. “Think I’m mad?”

Stamped worry in favor of current joy.

Because, really, no one knew. Blood-borne, water, air or otherwise? Some days, dozens came and went—seemingly healthy, of course, but no telling—and a semblance of camp safety stayed stitched; no major crises yet (not inside anyway). In the months since humanity started assembling again, after those first weeks of ugliness, many people managed insulation, encountered infection only secondhand.

Her own experience, though. Sole reporter, Pint the only one who’d been there. Explained to others in broad strokes, went over it with him just once—summed up: “Close call, sure, but never too close.” And that was that.

Elated, he lapped it up.

Newfound caution out among the ruins, fresh abandon within.


Pint, rolled eyes, told to keep a sidearm. Bolstered by experience, laughed at its potential. “Gonna help against 20? No, but OK then.” Absurdly limited ammunition, anyway. But now forbade to set off in fewer than pairs, at least. Which did mean less time for on-air one-on-ones. Small sacrifice, considering.

His days occupied in cables and com lines. Now, with new things to look forward to, savored even more the isolate dark. Strained (smiling) over the wire to decipher her clipped descriptions of unearthed items she couldn’t identify, hoped were helpful. Absurd haiku.

“Glass nub spouting copper filament, hinged to a metal waffle.”

“Porcelain box over…maybe under?—threaded U pipe. Inside…ew, god. Goop.”

“Two-headed twinned cable, green prong and red port. Hey, they fit! Interracial ouroboros.”

Like an historian locked in a cockpit, bewilderment practiced precisely. Made him giggle.

In person, after those first days, the more serious subject broached just once between them. Shoulder to shoulder, boot heels dug in and legs splayed on patchy grass. Pint worrying dirt with unknown pieces of metal mechanism she’d pocketed from a corporate kitchen, fun found idly digging: shells, pebbles, can tabs, bottle tops. Looking up on occasion to see trees dancing, wind-swayed copses.

“I read once…you should trust one person more than two.” Dour, hesitant. Not her usual tune. “Because it takes stones for one person to say she saw something—taking a chance saying anything at all. But two people can talk each other into seeing something different than what really happened.”

“I can see that, I guess.” Open to the thought. Didn’t realize she was getting at something.

She huffed, flipped a chunk of glass into leaves. “Do you believe me?”

“Pi.” Brought no happy response from her, who scowled at any scent of being placated. “Would I be here if I didn’t?”

Her mind somewhere flooded, swimming.

But Sam had seen his share of it, too. Shrugs and side-eyes, fielding glances from folks who thought full-bore about bad options and worse, what they’d do if…shuddered. Didn’t want to think about it.

And so he scrabbled to his feet, bent, grabbed the scruff of her jacket with two hands and hauled her up, mock force. Held collar over her head with one hand, dusted bum with the other. Her own arms hung in melodrama, but the corner of her mouth cracking upward. And so, as guard to willing prisoner (oof, OK, she threw an elbow to his gut, just for funsies), he led her in silly ceremonious march elsewhere. Would figure out the destination en route.


Two weeks after her physical return from the woods, finally felt fully out of them. No evidence of lasting effects. Relief they gave no word to, but she dug through scant belongings, brought forth a secret stash of good whiskey (“Bourbon, for fuck’s sake. Specificity. Makes a difference”). And late at night, on that, another Tuesday, found a quiet spot to sit together, eyes skyward. Stars like spilled sugar.

Sipped relief for a few moments in silence, exhaled char. Evaporated.

Lord, the joy.

Sleep that night like she’d never had, still and heavy. Dreamt of a pristine coffee shop, big windows looking out to sunlit city streets, not a soul to be seen. She held a jigsaw puzzle box filled with tiny blue eggs, which cracked and oozed beautiful honey into a nest of crystal-white sand. Instructions jumbled, incomprehensible. Couldn’t figure what she was supposed to put together.

Hand on her shoulder pulled her cold from warm depths. Familiar, whispered voice, “Hey, hey.” (Jesus god, what?!—if her thoughts had words just then.) But soon knew where she really was, didn’t think it was so bad. His other arm in her hair, knee brushed her shin. “Erg. Whut?”

“Sorry.” Pre-dawn, Sam in freefall. “I’m so sorry. It seems… I can’t. There’s…”


“There’s blood.”

Feet numb. Panic with no place to perch.

“There’s blood,” he ached. “On the pillow. And…my god. There’s blood.” Saw her terror start to spark and couldn’t stop his own. Thumb across her forehead, “My love.”

“Hmph? Nah, no. Uck.” She wiped spittle, inspected. Streaks. Fighting to keep her borders intact. “No worries. I’m sorry. Lemme…here, just lemme clean up.”

“Pi, you can’t.” Throat locking. “Don’t. It’s…it’s everywhere.”

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Wires and Tin

WiresAndTin (2)

None of it should have happened—not the apocalypse, of course, but certainly not the hope, equally impossible, that followed.

Sam, average build made somehow smaller in his own head, a mind inward-built that turned early and often to self-mocking. “All parry and no thrust,” he’d laugh (estuary English), and then dig for a reassuring follow-up—something that read harmless, inoffensive, nothing to see here.

But toward her, inexplicably protective—driven to action despite heartfelt insufficiency. Couldn’t believe himself a savior; couldn’t help it, either.

She who pictured herself awkward in her bulk as much as he felt unimpressive in his lank (in truth, she was not 11 stone to his dozen). She who saw his self-conscious charm and raised him grumbled thunder and a glowered brow.

But she who also laughed with an abandon that knocked bottles off shelves.

Annie, but Sam called her Pint. (Tried “Half-Pint” once and she put him into a wall.) Thirsty, and a fan of full measures.


They were unknown to each other and 14 and some-odd kilometers apart in the first moments of the outbreak: Herself American abroad, pub-crawling, whirlwind from a precocious childhood in adult decline; himself still stutterstepped, back with his parents in Borehamwood, vivid dreams dulled in financial responsibility and familial obligation.

And right about then, all around the world, many people died very quickly.

Others sickened and lingered, and panic caught the rest. Cities abandoned (for companionship loses its luster in an epidemic). But in dribs and drabs the still-survivors assembled for the faint promise of camaraderie and comfort, such as it was: leaky tents and cold showers, dusty food, foot travel, fear, failure, walls with no privacy and scant security. And always no way to know an enemy or an incubating virus—the time in whomever between infection and symptom, and the person who’d shoot first without waiting to find out. A dejected citizenry forever called upon to hold itself together. Hopeless purpose.

In this new world, she took naturally to physical labor, bruises and dirt, building some things and tearing into others, digging and looting for the greater good, every ache a satisfying pang of self-destruction washed down with warm alcohol.

Sam, holed up in the dark among wires and corrugated tin, charged with coordinating novice foot soldiers using Vietnam-era radios and Playskool walky-talkies. A military duty performed with a college kid’s aplomb. Fun to be had—at least in those moments where no one died, disappeared, got infected, panicked, deserted or violently lost grip of reality.

He and she made fast friends, forged in scatty carelessness over private airwaves, matched humor and pop-culture trivia, desperate not to take something so seriously. Nostalgia punctuated by near miss and dire circumstance.

“But he named one of the episodes…it was, like…argh, something Greek?”

“Yes, about the poem! In the title? Toward the end of the run?”—his inflections turned upward and an octave higher when he got excited—“uh…Ozz…um…Ozz…”

OZZ, yes, um…ozzy …Ozymandias!”

“Yes, Pi!,” and then beautiful baritone in recitation, “‘Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ …um…blah blah blah, ‘Lone and level sands’…doing something, y’know, for a ways.”

“And then Walter White straight-wastes some bitches.”


Easy, welcome voices in each other’s heads: Her sometime anger steered to safety by his gentle enthusiasm; his neuroses soothed by big laugh and biting wit. But for some time still kept the other at safe distance, every nascent daydream zapped early by present death.


It had been weeks of a rhythm too comfortable, silly conversation serenading supply runs over disregarded background noise—themselves alone deaf to the high-pitched, sun-bleached buzz of unrelenting drought.

Pint, scratchy but familiar on the radio. “At what point does an oft-patched pair of pants turn into an entirely new item of clothing?”

Sam, fighting a desperate grin, though she couldn’t see him anyway. “I don’t understand; are you making up tongue-twisters?”

“And why does the crotch always wear out first?”

Well-worn days of near-blissful banalities and nights parted, equally ordinary, in quiet misery behind goofy smiles. Both waking-dreamed of legs intertwined and eyes closed on a sagging single camp bed, their best thoughts finding a home in each other’s ears.

But both too attune to anachronistic optimism, “love” existing in the same brain space as swimming pools and mother’s meatloaf—nothing for it here among bloody tangles and emotional dehydration.

And then, on a Tuesday (for Sam still kept a calendar, was a pest about the passage of time), another long hike of hers with little to report, until a sudden throng emerged from a warehouse and everywhere all at once—half-human creatures but quick enough, desperate, infected. And Pint, far from everyone, stupidly without escort or recourse.

Sam, listening in, alone at his desk in the dark. Stopped breathing at her first choked surprise. His only response, bile and adrenaline: a few useless shouted instructions and nothing more to be done. How stupid to think that time would continue unencumbered?

And now, panic, foreign in her voice—“I’m gonna—OK, but…shit…shit”—crushed him sternum to spine. And what else might he now hear on the other end?

Then the signal cut.

And silence was worse.

He stood and turned to tell someone but stopped in a step, pulled off the headset and vomited lukewarm camp coffee onto cracked jamb, splattered his pants shins—as though his body thought it a helpful response. And then wept into the heels of his hands, equally useless.

Interminable. Leadership alerted and armed lookouts posted to rickety towers, but nothing more to be invested in a single soul caught out. All he could think, locked himself in darkness: How, after everything—how could something now be worse?

Dead, disappeared, devoured (for the infected ate all they could), or home but sick and a slow demise. To be ended at whose hands? His? How long had these scenes cycled through his head? Eons? Seconds? He hadn’t slept, but didn’t know if it had been night yet—once, or ever would be again.

After hours, even the buzz of dead, dry countryside hummed itself into silence. An eternity without sound.

Only then, when it was ready, the air cracked and rifle reports rang like church bells, punched Sam, hunched elbows on knees, in plexus, strained new breath from beneath dark earth. And all at once time resumed its cadence: A signal of something worth saving within easy distance.

Moments crept, and closer still. Word arrived to him before she could: she’shereshe’shereshe’shere. From those who wanted to comfort, couldn’t.

He stepped outside into the glare, sun still high—what day was it?—eyes puffed, tasted dust but couldn’t yet see. Only imagined.

Gate, camp, guards, gunfire—she didn’t stop running until her boots stood atop his.

Gasping through dirt, gunpowder. Pulled each other hard into singe and smoke. Nothing else in the world. A kiss like campfire.

For however long it lasted.


At dusk, his head rested on her shoulder like a fork on a dinner plate, as much relief as exhaustion. Straddled the bench, waiting to be extinguished. Her one arm propped against the table (to steady his pillow), gestured with the other, back so quickly to her usual swagger with their comrades. “Prolly helped I smelled foul—who wants to eat that?” Swigged warm beer, recounted just another day’s excitement, burned off excess adrenaline.

But tilted her head for just a moment to find him, a small hello, meaty cheek squished against his hair.

And in that single giddy breath, the whole world was warm inside him.


The rain that night came sudden in sheets, thunder and gale. Then settled, curled under tent walls and pooled muddy puddles beneath the bunk that neither of them wanted to leave, anyway.


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The Day in Messages

Wherein Little J and I discuss pop-culture doppelgangers and eventually come upon a crater of shitty, shitty rock music. (Hint: http://www.mtv.com/artists/theory-of-a-deadman/related-artists/?filter=similar)


9:22 a.m.

ME: I feel like the chick who plays Jessie’s girlfriend on Breaking Bad [Krysten Ritter] goes on the Aubrey Plaza/Zooey Deschanel/etc. list.


LITTLE J: Hehe, yes. Partly because she’s in one of those “apparently there’s this show that I’ve never seen before”—Don’t Trust The Bitch In Apartment 23 (a mental category that 2 Broke Girls inhabits).

Though the Girls lasted longer than the Apartment, apparently.




10:47 a.m.

ME: It’s Hemsworth and not Pine that I was (at least name-wise) more likely to confuse with Pratt. But in trying to figure out who the other Chris-es were, remembering that you’d mentioned Pine, I was like, “No, that’s not one…I think it was the guy from Star Trek? Oh…”


LITTLE J: Pratt *is* kinda halfway between Hemsworth and Pine.


ME: I think I’d put Hemsworth in the middle, but if I think too hard about it they become the same person again.


LITTLE J: Heh, like a Magic Eye poster.



2:14 p.m.

ME: After listening to as much Highly Suspect as I could tolerate, I’ve fallen down a shitty-hard-rock rabbit hole.

I should know better than to pursue any list so heavily poopulated by Papa Roach.

The typo stays.


LITTLE J: I wanted to make a joke about breaking the habit, but I think that’s the wrong (c)rap/rock band


ME: Glad I never bothered to distinguish between Theory of a Deadman, Theory of Dying, etc. etc.

Fuck, Art of Dying…see?


LITTLE J: As I Lay Dying

Hollywood Undead


ME: I’m already sad I know Five-Finger Death Punch.

…which is not, I now realize, Finger 11.


LITTLE J: Hahah, true.


ME: WTF, music industry.


HOMECOMING: Godsmack comes together for the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival at the Comcast Center on Sunday.


LITTLE J: I like the Alice in Chains song => Godsmack, or Machinehead band => Bush song


ME: Also, they’re not Mushroom Head…something to keep in mind.


LITTLE J: Good point.



4:06 p.m.

ME: Oh dear god…this is the throat-punchiest page ever generated by the internet: http://www.mtv.com/artists/theory-of-a-deadman/related-artists/?filter=similar


LITTLE J: Black Stone Cherry and Buckcherry: also not the same.


ME: Hinder, Staind…


LITTLE J: I was sitting outside Taco Tuesday a couple weeks back, and this little Miata rolls up looking for a spot, coffee-can muffler braaap braaap-ing, racer-style rims and tires, backs into the “we’d like to turn here” non-spot on the corner of the building, a tiny little man gets out, and of course the song on the stereo was Hinder.


ME: Haha that’s amazing.


LITTLE J: It was too perfect of a set, like you should slam that all down and yell rummy.

Like all you needed was a spray tan and an Affliction shirt (which, in my mind, he has, but I don’t think that’s quite fair).


ME: How is it that Affliction reached and breached the douchebaggery of TapOut so quickly?


LITTLE J: Yeah, I dunno.



4: 47 p.m.

ME: You’ve gotta wonder what you’ve done wrong in your life to be on a list where Chad Kroeger and Scott Stapp both appear TWICE.


LITTLE J: Hahhaa I hadn’t noticed Evans Blue vs. Blue October.


ME: 3 Days Grace, 3 Doors Down and 30 Seconds to Mars—please line up single-file; I only have one lance.


LITTLE J: 12 Stones, 10 years…


ME: I feel like there was a time in my life when I actually knew Saving Abel, but maybe I’m just thinking of Gerunding Bandname.


LITTLE J: Breaking Benjamin? Drowning Pool? Stabbing Westward? Thriving Ivory?


ME: This game makes my soul hurt.



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10 Tips for Sarasota Snowbirds

Inspired by everyday, real-life experiences and finding solace in oncoming summer.


  1. U.S. 41 is a major north-south highway, not a scenic road. Please be aware of how much you’re screwing up traffic when you drive 25 mph.


  1. Also, don’t pull a snowbird roadblock and keep even pace with the idiot next to you. There are only two lanes (per direction) on the North Trail; don’t fuck them both up.


  1. You’re not allowed to say Siesta Key Beach is “just OK.” You’re just not.


  1. “Yield” going into roundabouts does not mean “stop entirely and wait.” Nor does it mean “zip on in despite oncoming traffic.”


  1. Ringling Boulevard is FOUR lanes, divided by a landscaped median. If you’re driving the wrong way, we WILL laugh and take your picture.


  1. If you’re going to shop for beach supplies at Publix, please don’t do it at noon. Some of us are on our lunch break and don’t want to have to fight past you and your flip-flop indecision.


  1. If you find yourself among the first in line at the Bahia Vista/41 or Bee Ridge/41 left-hand turn lanes, please pretend there are pitchfork-wielding villagers behind you; there might as well be if you hesitate and leave us waiting through another cycle.


  1. Pedistrian-friendly downtown only extends so far; by god, I will run your ass over if you try to cross Orange against the light.


  1. For god’s sake, DON’T FEED THE SEAGULLS.


  1. I don’t care whose tiny child is dancing, keep a clear path through the chickee hut at O’Leary’s, or I will spill my beer on you.

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Late-Night Lonely Songs

For some comforting detachment when the lights go down. (Or: What I Listened To Pulling All-Nighters in College)






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Ogden Nash on Bad Coffee and Little Sleep

Bored, tired and caffeinated, Tiny Red suggested we editors three “write poetry about your favorite animals.”

These four pieces are the collective fruits of about six minutes of creativity:


Turkeys are glurkey,

But ducks are the shit.

Kitties are pretty.

Badgers have mitts.


I like horsies
I like bunnies
I like duckies


I do not like duckies
Their feet scare me.

Are they fish or are they bird?


They are unholy.







Are your leg parts in my cereal?






Is your skull in my bed?






Won’t you stop being disgusting?



When the gator ate my leg

I swore he’d throw it up

In time to get to the hospital.


He didn’t.


When the gator ate my leg

I cursed him with indigestion

And then I remembered my favorite sock.


It’s gone.


When the gator at my leg

I wished diarrhea upon him

But then he pooped in my pool.


It’s gross.



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A Home Hockey Weekend Away

The best bar in the world.

The best bar in the world.

At one week before the tournament, the schedule comes out and shit starts to get real. Everyone on the team has her own job, her own life, stretching from north Tampa down to Port Charlotte. But now the shift to hockey lives ramps up on social media. Lefty, a sister-like friend and old-school Canadian defenseman, posts a “Timehop” status from five years ago: “Reading Hannah’s blog, it dawns on me I made it through an entire tournament without a single penalty!!! WTF is happening to me?”

I respond, “Hoping to do an account this time through; see if you can change the narrative a bit, hmm?”
The Friday game always garners the most adrenaline—a week’s worth of daydreaming of crisp passes and hard shots—but even more so this time, as I’ve got a big group of coworkers, friends even and accompanying strangers here to watch. It’s an honor, and heartwarming, up until the point I realize that we’re going to get dominated by the other team, and my contributions will be a single line-rush to the offensive zone and a pretty blatant trip that I somehow still didn’t get called for. “We” (my teammates) muster a couple of goals on a paltry number of shots, and lose 4-2. The awesome people cheer anyway.

Everyone is amped to blow off some steam, especially considering we don’t play again until Saturday afternoon. But anchoring my mood is a 7 a.m. “agreement” (I didn’t realize it would be so early) to help Mrs. Harrible man the check-in table. Still, there’s a crowd out, and people need beer. We all down a couple Bud Lights while standing in crowds around the lobby, exchanging numbers, trying to sort out plans. A few of us, along with the remaining fans, head to Applebee’s for a bit. Around 12:30 I meet up with another group downtown. It’s loud and smokey and I’m relatively subdued—a whiskey here, a beer there—and make my escape around 2. Teammates J.D. and Kamikaski show no signs of slowing down.

The 7 a.m. arrival was never going to happen. At 2:30 a.m. I make it official with a text to Mrs. Harrible: “Sorry, dude. Everybody came out tonight instead of tomorrow. Aiming for 8:30.” It’s kind of a shitty thing to do.

Up at 7:30 and make it to the rink by 8:30. I’m surprised my back isn’t worse, but the lack of sleep is already worrisome. I question the wisdom of my McMuffin breakfast (and the caffeine content of McDonald’s coffee). I sell a few raffle tickets and try to avoid nodding off. At 11, as other teammates have arrived, I beg off—45 minutes to drive home, 45-minute nap, then 45 minutes back to the rink by 1:15 for our 2 p.m. game. I regret nothing about these decisions.

Kamikaski, apparently, regrets the shots that happened before, during and after my time at the bar. She’s only moderately late to the locker room, but misses the first shift or two due to an unscheduled appointment between her head and the toilet.

It’s the same team again, and while our shot total goes up, we struggle finding the back of the net. Frustration mounts. The other team is both physical and winning, and the refs miss a couple of opportunities to intercede early—illegal checks and behind-the-play high sticks, coming and going from both teams. Kamikaski lowers her football shoulder pads into the other team’s star, who responds with a two-hander to the helmet and a squealy rebuke to our bench. Quick Little K gets crunched off the puck in the corner. Furious warnings from our bench, “You better call something or this is about to get really bad!”

During a scrum in front of our net, an opposing player goes flying. Coasting toward the penalty box, Lefty stops for a moment in the doorway, seeing me on the bench: “Your wish is my command,” she grins.

Final score: 4-0. Blessedly, we get to keep the same locker room, which will stay a sea of stank, wet gear for the three hours until time next to suit up again.

Between games, Captain Beerslinger heads out to get more beer, but in the meantime, we need beer, so we snag a couple of pitchers from the snack bar and plop around in front of college basketball, bullshitting about whatever and rehashing old stories for new teammates.

Our goalie ambles over balancing plates stacked with soft pretzels and neon-orange nacho cheese, turns her back to deflect the ribbing: “Don’t worry about what’s going on over here.”

Keight, a newer addition but one of the stronger and more experienced skaters on the team, shows up with a Subway sandwich and a 12-pack of…”Azulitas?” I ask.


“Haha, dude, those are 8-ouncers.” There’s an ongoing discussion of the merits of smaller serving sizes even when the same total amount of beer will be consumed. More contributions come. Within an hour, despite our best efforts to keep up with supply, the cooler is overflowing.


Mr. Harrible and an Azulita.

The 6 p.m. game takes effort, but at least it’s a different team this time—a selection of players from Alabama and Georgia. We go the entire second period without a shot on net, but it’s more competitive than it sounds. My best play—a steal at the blue-line and potential breakaway—was negated by a prolonged stumble of wobbledy ankles and eventual fall. I keep my cool about it until a linemate mentions how close it was to an awesome play. “FUCK!” I respond.

Later, Little J, who’s been our lone fan for the day, commends my ability to shield the puck even as I fall down. Good man.

An opposing player “goes batshit crazy,” to Kamikaski’s estimation, and attacks J.D. after the goalie covered the puck. Somehow both players get penalties. Kamikaski and her football pads are ready to nail someone, but order prevails.

Shut out in another loss.

Postgame pizza party to watch even more hockey at the Harribles’ house. The young ‘uns—Little K and Hands—show up with, I shit you not, juice boxes and fruit-by-the-foot. Lefty and I put cheese puffs on our pizza. Inspired by my negated breakaway, Hands shows me—and then everyone else—a video of a runway model wobbling and falling in too-high heels. Guffaws. “I hate you all.”

Sunday locker room conversations are both celebratory and somber—work and real life loom, and talk turns to impending deadlines and asshole fourth-graders. Male hockey players are predominantly blue collar—landscapers, plumbers, welders, firemen. Percentage-wise, female hockey players are overwhelmingly teachers. I could run down a few theories for why this is, but maybe it’s better you ponder it on your own.

The game is our best yet—a 2-2 tie against the out-of-staters, despite the fact that J.D. had her own batshit moment and got tossed for mouthing off at the ref. But I’m subdued by exhaustion, frustration and an inability to get my juju going. I try not to let my cloud affect the team’s celebration, and it eventually clears. Yet more post-game locker room hangout time–feet on bags, beers in hand–stretches indefinitely into the afternoon.

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