Back in middle school there was always one kid on the baseball team with gangly legs too long for his body and ears too big for his head: that athletic disaster that you didn’t want to see come up to bat, even though you knew that everybody gets to play in Little League. Remember how that kid didn’t really want to get up to bat either? I was that kid, and I excelled more in the field of videogames than on a physical field.
While the snow in front of student houses in Burleith and West Georgetown has built up into slick sheets of ice and nearly every street is glazed in a brownish mix of slush and dirt, the alleyway behind Riggs Bank on Wisconsin Ave. has remained pristine, as if snow had never fallen. At the end of that alleyway sits an overloaded shopping cart covered in plastic tarps. If you look closer, though many don’t, you can see the outline of a bundled-up old man leaning against it. His name is Nathanial Ust, and he prides himself on keeping his home clear of snow.
Last weekend a friend of mine and I were throwing a pair of cowboy boots across the room at each other and a rogue shot knocked out my front tooth: about the worst possible thing that could happen in that situation. My friend begged my forgiveness with his head cradled in his hands, but I wasn’t concerned. I flashed him a broken grin and laughed, then pulled out the phone book and called a dentist. Problem solved. The lesson I learned from this was not to be more careful with my teeth, but that hockey players really don’t have it as bad as I’d thought.