I walked to the stadium. I clearly needed some exercise and as the snow fields are beckoning, some improvement in my overall fitness would be a good thing. That was the theory anyway. A mere 45 minutes later and I strode into the stadium feeling quite pleased with the plan so far.
I was a bit early for my son's game. He had hit me up for some cash earlier in the week. At least he still talks to me. Miss the dog. A take away cappuchino and I'm in the stand waiting for my son's game.
A few minutes before the game started, there he was. A good looking young man amongst a whole bunch of good looking young men. No wonder there were quite a few young females in the stand hyperventilating on the testosterone. I had merely thought it may have been smelly shoes!
Out of the corner of my failing peripheral vision, I spy his mum walking in impossibly thigh high boots, tight jeans, nipped in jacket and streaky hair. Mutton dressed as lamb. She headed for the Stadium Supervisors' Table, and the existing supervisor stood and she assumed the position. Damn, I now realised I had not picked up the weekly newsletter, where I could romance the incredible fact that my son's team were undefeated so far this winter season, draw yes, but no losses.
So, I stood up and headed towards the dreaded ex and the stadium supervisors' table to pick up the newsletter. At this point, my nerves relayed a tragic medical fact to my brain. There was some thing not quite right in my legs. They had the response of leaden weights. Possible my lower leg muscles had seized up whilst I sat. Felt weird. I also felt unfit and old.
But, in the light and movement of a sports stadium, if you think I am am going to admit that I am as unfit as all get out, with all these MILFs prancing around, let lone their scantilly clad daughters, you are joking. Every single cell in my body heaved and squirmed as I pushed through the pain barriers and waddled my way to the table. Trying with every step to not look like a rehab patient after an appalling brain operation.
After what seemed like hours I arrived. Picked up the bloody newsletter, looked at my son's mother in the face, smiled at her sneer she gave me and valiently strode back to the stand. My legs were killing me. But, I was not going to let a mere sneer from my ex get me down, no way, my own body was doing a much better job of that all by itself. I hobbled back to a seat.
The game got under way. Underage basketball is not highly exciting as any parent can attest. However, these were under 20's and they were actually bloody good at playing. My son no less than his teammates. The ball flew about between players, goals scored, fouls incurred, penalties shot. The game was fought well, my son's team leading, each goal and turnover skillfully piercing through defensive screens and polite clapping of spectators. Half time.
Now being a cheeky lad, I got up again, the aching legs not aching as badly as before and I marched doggedly over to the stadium supervisors' table to have a bit of fun with the ex. What she going to do? Call the police, get me thrown out?
Approaching the table, with barely a hint of limping, I politely waited till she was not being polite to enquiring referees, players and parents. Soon, there were just us two. I gently said that I would look after the table and she could watch the second half of our son's game. She declined, of course, saying she could see his game just fine, "But, thanks for offering". I smiled, turned and walked back to the stand chuckling to myself.
First words I had heard directly from my ex in eighteen months.
And she even said thanks.
My son's team belted the other team. I walked home slowly with odd muscular pains from my lower calves.
Sometimes, small victories are sweet.