November 10, 1997

The weekend was absolutely gorgeous. A typical Indian summer weekend, with leaves falling everywhere, wood smoke in the air, and brilliant sunshine from the low slung orb moving so close to the horizon. John has always called fall the season of falling, when everything from the leaves to the length of the day falls because of the season.

It was nearly all taken up with John's boys soccer team and the second part of their tournament. Saturday morning started with a solid breakfast of eggs, cheese and Canadian bacon on onion bagels. The day was so bright and clear that we headed straight for the Stoat and got going to the Puget Sound Blood Center and gave blood.

I'd never had a male nurse before at the blood center, and he was keen, warm hands and didn't make me ball my fist before he stuck me. The stick was right on, too, though, and the blood fell out as quickly as it usually does. So that was good. Cookies and juice in eight minutes flat. Hee. Nice thing was that I didn't feel even nearly as trashed as I do from pherisis. Bad thing was that the nurse that unloaded everything took a while, so the blood clotted a bit in the needle while she was doing things, and so she had to wiggle stuff a bit to get the samples for the small tubes. Ouch. But that worked out, and it flowed again, but then when she pulled the needle out, the vein squirted pretty far for the instant she had the needle out and hadn't gotten gauze on it. *sigh* So the first three sheets of gauze were just soaked. So we added some more, and then I put my arm up. She then wandered off to set the sample tubes and do the other things, and forgot me with my arm up. So the guy nurse came and did my wrap and made sure I wasn't bleeding anymore and talked me through the care instruction things. Upon which another nurse pounced on me to tell me that she thought my hair was beautiful! Which was cool. I liked that.

It all took a while, so we headed straight for the first game at Marymoore, took a while finding the field and then got John to the right place while i drove the Stoat around to the correct parking. The Bobcats played most excellently that morning and beat their opponents handily, going ahead by nearly three goals just in the first half, and then scoring a fourth in the first few minutes of the second half. The parents were happy and took all the kids to lunch at Bruegger's bagels, which John and I shared in. I went home during the break while John went back to the field with Dave K. and after sitting a while while waiting for the construction crews who were repaving Lake Sammamish Drive East, I got Fezzik and brought him to the second game.

The Bobcats were as handy with the second game as with the first. Hustling to the ball, getting to the play, and getting it made. They also were ahead by three at half-time, but then the other team scored one half way into the second half. So they turned it up another notch, and scored two more back before the game was done in the near darkness.

The sun was down at ten 'til 5.

When we were in Albuquerque I bought a green chili cassarole mix, and I made it up that night, adding some browned onions and cut up three chicken breast halves, marinated 'em in lime juice and cilantro and then quick stir fried 'em on the really hot burner. Added all that and like a pound and a half of chedder (as John had fun just grating the whole thing) to a dozen corn tortillas and the sauce from the packet into my French pot and baked it until it was bubbling hot and browned on the top. It was *great*, sweet with corn and chicken broth, slightly spicy and the texture of the corn tortillas after they'd been baked was tender to the mouth and firm. John ate a huge bowl of it right off. I had about half that, but then had seconds because it was so good.

I had an interesting dream Saturday night. Basically, a hero with powers had died, and so his power was loose in the world. In John-relavent shorthand, I called the hero that died, "Thor, God of Thunder" though it really wasn't Thor... there were godly attributes to the powers. I knew that I could capture the powers with a particular recipe, and I wandered the world to find all the right things. A feather from an angel, a tooth from a dragon, the breath of a mountain, the scale of a mermaid. I managed them all, but some were so hard I knew that I'd never be able to do them again, knowing what was involved. Ignorance is, sometimes, power as well. But I gathered them, cooked up the stuff, and had it in a small pouch in my pocket, about the size of those high-energy gel packs.

John and I, in my dream, then went on a camping trip with the kids from the soccer game, but they were all teenagers now. All almost-men, still so high energy and so completely capable of commitment of all their resources to anything they did. There was kind of an aside in the dream, then, of two men with a bunch of high explosives attached to a delivery system that was being aimed at an on-coming train. We cut back to the peaceful camp scene, and there's the sound of an approaching train. One of the boys, in a leap of high enthusiasm, jumped over a fence that was up to prevent folks from going over a cliff. He was going to land on the ground just on the other side of the fence, which was still a few feet from the actual edge.

I didn't quite recognize exactly which one it was, but thought it might have been Evan, as nearly two thirds the boys from the team are blond and pale and athletic. And as he lept over the fence, the train blew up, big, and the force of the explosion put him completely over the edge of the cliff.

I lept after. Climbing down the face in a half-magical half-desperation move that was learned from scaling other, harder mountains. I found him completely broken on a tiny, crumbling ledge, with branches going through him and limbs smashed. I pulled him into my lap, he was awake, lucent, aware of what had happened to him and unable, quite, to breath yet.

"Do you want to live?" I asked him.

His eyes focussed and he nodded.

I put the packet to his lips, opened it, and spilled the last two years of my life into his mouth. "Then swallow. For all you're worth, swallow."

It was a fight, for him, as damaged as he was. I can still feel the slenderness of his body gathered in my arms, on my lap, the scent of him in his hair, and the scent of blood everywhere, the sound of the burning of the train pieces, the clatter and slide of rocks around me, and the tension and twisting of the muscles and body in my grasp as he fought to swallow. He finally did it, and something lit in his eyes and his next breath was free.

That's when I woke up.

So I think it worked. I also knew that, in my dream, wheither or not it worked, it had been the right decision. I'd been thinking of giving it to one of the kids anyway. Only the young still truly believe enough to fight the good fight, without cynicism and with every iota of their abilities. Some adults manage to carry that forward, but it's sometimes hard. It's a lot easier to be afraid when you know what to be afraid of.

What was odd was that Evan was the only one that was hurt in the Sunday morning game. He only got an elbow to the jaw, though... nothing nearly as nasty as in the dream. Whew. But Sunday morning was another level up for the kids, as they played a really good team, with great trained reactions and good skills that allowed them to take advantage of the things that the Bobcats hadn't learned yet. The Bobcats did do really well to end up with the score at 3-1 and actually played at a level that they'd never really gotten to before because they simply hadn't been challanged that badly before that. It was a really exciting game. They did the most incredible things that took more guts and more tenacity than I've seen in most adult games. I've only ever seen that kind of all-out play at the professional and World Cup level, where the players sacrifice their bodies for the play.

And I swear: The next time a parent says, in that tone of voice that says that they're disgusted with the kid, "JUST *kick* the ball." I am going to collar them and drag them into a Friday night game and make the parent see just how 'easy' it is for them to kick the ball solidly when *they* have two people barrelling down on them. I'll admit that really pissed me off, and it was only a few of them. As, on the most part, the parents were really, really good. What I thought the best thing of all was when they didn't know what to yell, at certain points, all they did was scream as encouragement. That was pretty keen.

They also took all the kids to Dairy Queen after the morning game and they all got ice cream, danced around the parking lot, celebrated getting as far as they did, and climbed all over the Stoat and petted Fezzik until he was bewildered. They all had great fun, and the parents were, rightly, proud of all the boys, and they were all made much of. Which was the right and proper thing to do, as they all played their hearts out.

The afternoon was spent in quiet conversation on Bob's porch with the Cypress folks, and it was good and quiet and relaxing. John and I made out like bandits, afterwards, though, as Mai and Bob had bought a bunch of Chinese pastries for the tea, which no one had eaten. So we got to take them home to our planned at-home evening.

The filet mignions from Costco turned out as gorgeous as the days. We'd gotten them from Costco Saturday evening, but the casserole was what we were in the mood for, then. The meat itself was absolutely excellent and I got right on cooking them to perfection, knowing what I knew from the last time I tried cooking them. Cooking is one of those things that experience only betters. Mashed potatoes with chicken broth instead of butter and milk worked out really well, and I had a longing for green bean cassarole, so I made that and it was good with the rest. I had a peach and cream with egg cake roll from Mai and Bob's and John had one with kiwi and strawberries, neither of which were very sweet, and the fruit flavors came out delightfully. A most excellent dinner while watching football and the US mens' team finally qualify for the French World's Cup competition. Hoorah!

Sadly, there's a bye tonight, so we won't be playing until Wednesday. And this afternoon, I get to do more training. I can't seem to make the SynEdit and SynView material stretch to three hours no matter what I do, so I might tell Barry that that's just not going to work.

Last night's dream was obviously influenced by watching X-files, and it had to do with researching a cancer and then a quick-burn viral infection that came from something that looked a lot like feta cheese. *laughter* It basically involved researching and investigating into the causes of the illnesses, saving Fox Mulder from it by destroying the crystalline structure of the virus and then sending the destroying counter-virus out after the original. Basically. It was a lot more complex than that, but that's the quick way to convey what the dream was about without all the annoyingly irrelevant asides that most dreams have.

I am also fighting off a cold. I just can't be sick until Wednesday afternoon because I've just too many things to get done.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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