glowing in the dark
This week, I booked a cab. My son planned to come but then he was tired and, at the last minute, his back hurt, so I got in the cab on my own. I was already in my fencing kit so that I could join the warm-up straight away.
It was only as I got ready for footwork practice that I realised: I'd forgotten my jeans.
When I'm with others, I phone for a cab if I don't have a lift. If I'm on my own I either cycle or walk. And fencing kit isn't every day walking gear.
I put it out of my mind and got on with the footwork practice. I wanted to get my lunges right. Footwork was harder than usual. The coach's instructions ,included "and when I lunge, I want you to parry quarte and riposte with a lunge". So we were moving backward and forward, trying to keep steps neat and maintain distance through shifts of speed, waiting for the cue to parry and riposte with a lunge. By the end, we were moving at speed awaiting the cue to fleche. At least I didn't fall over.
Therer weren't many epeeists but in any case I'd made a resolution to do more foil. My opponent said that at least I wasn't fencing like an epeeist but I had to keep reminding myself "small target area", "establish right of way", "parry", "no doubles". It was helpful, however, forcing me to be precise and deal (or fail to deal with) different kinds of guard. And it paid off when I moved on to epee. I was better able to plan hits - well, sometimes. On one occasion I even said to myself, "Next time I'm going for the wrist" - and I made it!
My second opponent was on top form; light, fast and accurate. Most of the hits I landed were doubles and it took me quite some while to land any at all. Between bouts I stood with other resting fencing by the open doors. The weather's warm again and everyone's first impulse after a bout was to stand in a cool breeze.
Only as I took off my jacket did I realise the impact I'd make when walking home, dressed in white shoes, socks and breeches with a black T-shirt and hoodie. My bottom half would glow in the dark. Mty top half would be invisible. I'd look like half the ghost of a fencer sliced in half by a careless or vicious sabreur.
Luckily my path lay along the road throuth the water-meadows and one young fencer's mother stopped and offered me a lift. But I'd already walked a quarter of a mile or more, with my bottom half glowing white in a black night.
I wouldn't mind a few new ghost stories.