Friday, June 16, 2006

There isn't enough fiction about modern fencing...
Maybe I'll write some

Fencing, by its very nature, brings out a very powerful force in people. It is not a sport where you run or play alongside others, constantly changing direction, trying to avoid the tackle or the box-out. In fencing you are staring straight into the shining eyes of another human being and have no other option but to do so. The object of the sport will inevitably bring two clashing together, breathing one another's breath, struggling for dominance, willing the other just a little closer. To her, it was no wonder then, that precarious relationships rose and fell monthly at the club. She herself had, on occasion, eyed a long lean man in a white jacket with a quiet what-if sort of reverie. But these ideas she dismissed as rapidly as they arose. That is not what she was there for.

As the club door swung shut behind her with a bang, she was broken from such musings and tried to focus on the task at hand. There was not much activity yet, but the regulars were milling along the walls, warming up or testing equipment. She dropped her bag and herself to the floor. Tucking her chin, she concentrated hard on tying her shoes, trying to clear her mind of unnecessary clutter; there would be plenty of time for a boyfriend after the World Cup. True, she was aiming for one two years in the future, but she would need at least that long to get ready if she even wanted to break into the top 32. She began mentally ticking off the women in the Section she would need to surpass as she began to slip into her jacket, her eyes now traveling around the room carelessly.

The unlooked for glance she met caused her confusion at first. He was sitting on the opposite side of the room - at the far end of one of the strips. He seemed as surprised as she that their eyes had met, but it was a moment before he had the presence of mind to look away. Before the connection broke, her brain attempted to define the emotion behind his gaze: thoughtful? hopeful? interested? It was the last one that caused her the most consternation and all thoughts of a World Cup were diminished as the girl inside her overcame the athlete. And all the while her hands continued to work with practiced efficiency at arranging bodycords and pulling up socks, she was wondering what the long look had meant. Of course she knew him, the basics, but mainly as a teammate. She knew he was fast and strong, but was susceptible to low line shots. They had even shared quiet words on occasion about training or upcoming tournaments. But "interested", she would never have guessed.

Finding nothing left to do to get ready, she sat again, waiting for maestro to begin the practice. Naturally, she told herself, she was overreacting. Too much training and not enough socializing had put her in such a state. She chanced another look in his direction, but he was stretching and his eyes were on the floor this time. Definitely overreacting she decided, but when they were called to salute, she purposefully chose the far end of the floor, opposite him, just in case. There was a Cup to think about.

Hmm...Maybe I won't. It's a little silly I think.

No comments: