Maize and bare
It was barely halftime, and it was miserable on all accounts. The Buckeyes were storming the stadium, dashing our hopes of a sunny New Year’s in Pasadena. We hadn’t even won the Blood Battle. And the Michigan weather was, as usual, relentless. A stinging rain bore down on the stadium. I thought it couldn’t get any worse.
Then somebody shoved his way between my friend and me and almost knocked us over. His face was painted maize and blue. He wore a Michigan sweatshirt. Naturally, I thought he was just another crazed fan.
But then, as he squeezed his way through the row, I realized that the sweatshirt was all he was wearing. This guy wasn’t wearing any pants.
He wasn’t wearing any boxers, either.
And I think he was heading for the field.
I was in such shock at the time that I didn’t have time to confront this guy about his nakedness. At least he was polite about his intrusion, though. On his way though, right before yelling “Fuck Ohio State,” he said “excuse me.”
I was waiting for the light to change, straddling my bike between idling cars and the construction where the Frieze Building used to be.
Another biker pulled up beside me, looking similar to me but on a better bike. He blurted, “Hi, how are you?” I answered fine.
“I just came from a great concert,” he said.
“Yo-Yo Ma?” I guessed, heading home from the same place. We agreed on it being a wonderful performance. “You know what’s funny?’ he said.
“That last piece, by Franck, it just turned me around. Thirty second story for you,” he said as we started to pedal in single file, most of the traffic turning left on Huron Street and leaving us in the darkness of State Street. “I work overseas and I’m here on a visit.”
“Where?” I interrupted.
“In Cambodia, I work in development. I’m still kinda sick from some parasite I picked up there and the whole concert I was thinking, ugh, I’m not feeling great.”
“But then that Franck piece … it’s just in my head,” he said.
“I’m glad to hear it – maybe it’s an antidote,” I said, still pedaling.
“Maybe,” he said. “Nice talking with you.”
“You too,” I said, and I turned into my house and he continued on to some friendly couch, some pit-stop to overseas.
ABIGAIL B. COLODNER