After a strange day, an "Einstein" day in which time seemed relative (because it IS), I dragged myself to the 8:15 kickboxing class. The mild spring dusk tempted me to stay on my deck with a glass of wine, but next thing I knew, I was in my gloves and questionably smelling shin guards partnered with--Hot Arms. I had hoped D. would appear so that I could see her before my trip to Belize on Thursday, but when HA wandered in, it cheered me. What a strange feeling about someone I, at best, try to say little to because she makes me feel like an...underachiever.
Yet when partnering time came, after slide kick drills, we simulatneously looked at each other and said "Partner?"
We practiced blocking kicks with our shins. Our legs and thighs clicked like we were pieces on some kind of mechanized board game. Click! Click! Click! We looked intently at our legs, anticipating every move, which, of course, is the opposite of what we're supposed to be training for. Then sensei said, "Don't look at your legs! That's not how it's gonna happen in a situation. Look in each other's eyes."
The best I could manage was looking at HA's gloves. I noticed she too could not look me straight in the eyes. I accidentally jammed her toes a few times on blocks. In pain, she did look me in the eyes.
Earlier in the day, on a sun flooded street in downtown Scotch Plains, the epitome of "safe" suburbs, two adolescent boys roared by in a generic gray car. The one in the passenger side, his window rolled down, yelled, "Queer!" when he saw me minding my own business walking down Park Ave. The car roared around a corner and quickly disappeared. He didn't look me in the eyes either.