Being a member of the human race who does not possess a single y chromosome, I often ask myself: what’s so great about sporting events? But being a member of the human race who loves free crap, I couldn’t say no to the four great seats my boss gave me to go see the Washington Nationals play ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’ll root for the hometeam because it means I get to eat all the nachos, peanuts, hotdogs, cotton candy, etc. I can fit in my mouth till I’m sick.
It’s April. I’ve got the convertible every little girl dreams of. I’ve got a crew of my Cabana Boy, a friend from work, and her roommate. I’ve got mapquest directions and spending money. We’re ready to roll.
I was prepared for the driving in D.C. traffic. I was prepared, even for the unseasonally cold weather, having donned long johns and a hat. What I wasn’t prepared for was getting lost. As we rounded the stadium in confused and panicked circles, we bickered over which way to go. I started singing “Jesus Take the Wheel” in an attempt to lighten the mood as we missed yet another sign direction. Then we took a few more wrong turns toward Anacostia and P.G.County.
In this area, any time you hear about a murder, about a drug bust, you can be fairly certain that the words “Anacostia” or “P.G. County” will be involved. Homeless looking black men veered in and out of the rundown city streets. I want to have compassion, empathize, perhaps hand somebody a dollar, but it doesn’t jive with my friends, who implore me to lock the doors and turn around for God’s sake.
For God’s sake. We’ve been driving for two hours and we’re still lost by the time that the stadium is probably singing the National Anthem. The pre-game prayers have been spoken and balls are flying towards home plate.
The roommate flips open her cell to call her Daddy. We’re lost. Please save us. Somehow he gets us turned around and we’re soon at the stadium. The game itself is uneventful. We’re cold. Our team is losing. We see one homerun, eat some overpriced food, and then decide to go home.
There’s something about the dark of a car that gives us the courage to ask each other things like whether we believe in love, if we go to church. I talk about my recent conversion to Buddhism with the Agnostic, the Lapsed Catholic, and the Protestant/Methodist mix. There's a sharing feeling among us, an intimacy.
We do not get lost on this return trip. We find our own way this time.