"I'm like freezing," she says. "I'm wearing summer stuff. We were tailgating. But now there's nowhere to go."
As we talk, the game is restarted. "The rivalry is pretty intense, isn't it?" I ask. Yes, Lauren replies. The CSU quarterback said some cocky stuff about the Buffs, she tells me.
How are Colorado students taking it?
"The guys around me are chanting that they want the quarterback to be a quadriplegic."
"You don't have to follow me. I can go to bed by myself!" says Z huffily. "I'm not four."
No, he's 12. He still has a high voice, and he doesn't smell. But he'll go days without a shower if you don't ride him.
"Don't follow me!"
It's so hot here in South Bend, but it's the Fourth of July weekend and our seventh-grade travel basketball team has to play in a tournament at Notre Dame over the holiday. Whoopee. Myself, I'd rather be on my deck with a beer or at the beach or a picnic someplace. In a hot little gym on the second floor of the Joyce Center we begin our second or third game. I've lost count. My ability to care has been severely crimped. Suddenly my friend, a former Division I baseball player, is screaming at the ref. A onetime basketball referee himself, my pal is red-faced and furious. Not only that, he is charging onto the floor. "You do not have the right to tell me to shut up!" he is screaming. Mouth spray is flying. His neck veins look like snakes.
The ref—a young, muscular black man—is coming toward my friend. Oh, Jesus. "You cannot tell me to shut up!" shouts my friend. My friend is himself a muscular, if paunchy, guy. Now the ref is yelling and his neck, too, is ready to explode. "Sit down and shut up!" he bellows.
I step onto the court and get between the two. Is this what you're supposed to do? If I don't do it, who will? I put one hand on each man's chest, like a contestant in one of those twisted World's Strongest Man contests. Except I'm not very strong.