Posts Tagged ‘debate team’

Late Night

October 19, 2016

For a school night blog.


I was just on the phone for over an hour and got to talking and when the conversation is good, the talking it just happens.

I don’t always get a chance to connect with people on the phone.

Like actually a phone conversation.

Not texting.

Not messaging.




It has become something special.

I remember when I was a teenager and my sister would get on the phone with a boyfriend and how jealous I was of her sitting in the kitchen on the phone, the long tangle of cord drawn taught as she pulled the receiver further and further away.


One day.

I was on the phone with a boy.

Oh my heart.

How it pounded when I answered.

And how we talked.

It wasn’t much, the talk, about going to a movie if I recall correctly.

I remember how we had met and it was cute.

In a total nerd kind of way.

It was at a debate meet.


I know.

I was captain of the debate team for three years.

Shut up.



I just remembered his name, Jeff.

I don’t recall his last name, probably better, leave the innocent boy out of it.

He approached me in the lunch room at the visiting school where our team won our first ever debate.

I was a senior that year.

That was the year that we swept.

That was an amazing year.

We started to win.

I had finally figured it out, not really, I have never really figured it out, I still cannot figure it out, oh how I wish I could figure it out, maybe if I think harder about it I can figure it out.


Sorry digressed.

Anyway, the team was doing great.


Our debate coach was sick that day.

He had sent us off alone.

We were alone!

I mean, I think about that now and I wonder, did we even have a chaperone?

Of course, there was the bus driver.

But for the most part I think we went in there and ran the tournament completely on our own.

Perhaps it was that freedom and the lack of pressure.

Perhaps it was that I was feeling myself.

I can even remember what I was wearing, which hello, that was a long time ago, but it felt special, I felt special in my clothes, not something I often did when I was in high school.

The funny thing.

I was wearing men’s silk pajama pants.

And I’m not sure how the hell I had come across them, but I loved those pants, they were a soft sky blue with piping and I felt sophisticated and I was wearing a white button down shirt and black suede flats that were really too small for my feet but so adorable that I had bought them anyhow and loved them to death and wore them until they did fit.

I remember meeting Jeff in the cafeteria.

And he remembered me.

He remembered me from another school event a year prior.

Not even debate.

It was a forensic’s event.

I also, yes, nerding out some more, was on the forensics team.

I had done poetry then got introduced to extemporaneous speaking, which it turns out I was really good at.

Jeff remembered me from that, from the year before.

He remembered.

And I was high on the feeling of doing well at that debate, that we were doing well, although it wasn’t until after lunch until after the third round and making it to the finals and then finding out how well we had done, that I realized, this boy was flirting with me.

This boy liked me.



Oh my gosh.

You like me.

Insert obligatory Sally Field reference and no I’m not that old, fuck you.

I mean.

You really like me.

Holy shit.

I am so blown away.

It still didn’t completely dawn on me.

I was too high from winning.


We won, our first time ever that I had been on the debate team, we won, and it felt really good, I mean so very good to carry that trophy back to school and leave it as a surprise for the debate coach, Mister Stewart, to find that next Monday morning.

He was over the moon and kicking himself for not having been there.

I remember too how the team ran up the auditorium in the darkness toward that bright lit stage, how they pushed me forward to take the trophy, how it felt in my hands.

I said something, thank you I’m sure, accepted it on the behalf of our out sick coach and walked back to our seats with it heavy in my arms and a bit dazed and dreamlike.

We passed it around.

Every one got to hold it.


On the bus heading back to school.

They team decided I should carry it home.

I held it in my hands the whole way back.

I also realized as we were pulling into the school parking lot that not only was I coming back with this enormous first place trophy, but also that a boy, Jeff, had asked me for my phone number and holy moly, I had given it to him.

Would he call?

He did.

As it turns out.

I was brushing my hair.

My sister had dashed down the stairs to answer it and I hadn’t bothered to move, it was never for me anyhow.

“CARMEN!” She hollered up the back stairs, “it’s for you, and it’s a boy!”

Oh my God.

I don’t remember what we talked about.

I just remember the sunlight streaming through the window in the kitchen nook and how it struck the linoleum and how the phone cord looked wrapped around my fingers, the yellow curling cord proclaiming to the world–a boy had called for me.

It’s a powerful thing being wanted.

I don’t know that I have ever quite understood it.

I don’t suppose I ever will.

My friend tonight on the phone said I was blind.


Perhaps I am.

Blindly fumbling my way along, heart on my sleeve, trying to not try to figure it out.

Trying to not be breathless and teary.

Trying and failing.

Falling under and over and for.

I have fallen for some and thought.

I should not.


I should not.

I have thought of that often today.

And then.

It happens and there is no disentangling the cord.

There is only the acknowledgement, like the sunlit kiss curl of phone cord winding around my fingers, of love.



In between the lines on the page.

In the shadow of the oak tree dappled with sunlight.

On a full mooned night.

Even when it has waned.



It is everywhere.

And Like That

July 31, 2013

The week gets filled up.

I rather knew this would happen and I am grateful for it and also a little, let’s err on the caution side of things here, I don’t want to get too out of hand doing stuffs.

But fuck it.

I won’t always get down time and I don’t always allow myself to fill said down time with things I want to do.

I have a full week now.

Two extra shifts of work, including an unexpected seven hour pop tomorrow back in Cole Valley and a four-hour, it’s enough to get me over the bridge and I have plans on Saturday anyway, so yes to working a short shift in the city late Saturday morning.

I got a chill out with my friend Calvin hang out at the Brazilian restaurant in Hayes Valley nobody ever seems to go to but has really good food.

Food that works with my shit to.

Speaking of which…

30 days!


Abstinence it is so nice to make your acquaintance again.

Thank God.

Never want to do that again and to insure such, will be meeting up with the folks that do the thing and then go to the other place and do some more things, you know, on Thursday.

Then Friday, time to get to playa bicycle–the saddle is in, the pennant is in, the basket should be in by the end of the week–because two weeks from Friday I am playa bound.

Holy crap man.

It’s actually happening.

Saturday the aforementioned nanny gig in Cole Valley from 9:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. then a bicycle ride through the park and a date with my friend Beth to go to the Academy of Sciences.

It’s not my first choice, but it is fun, and she has never been.

Plus, it’s so close to work that it’s not going to be a stretch to get there and it will be fun touring Beth around it.  I used to go there all the time with I was taking care of Reno and the Junebug.

Speaking of which!

Princess Bride in the park!

“Anybody got a peanut?”

I am going to meet up with Juni and her mama and watch the penultimate book to movie story ever told.  This has got to be the best adaptation of a book to film that I have ever seen.

The closest I can come to thinking any other film version of a book, “Out of Africa” based on Isaak Dinesen’s work, that works as well.

But The Princess Bride?

Oh, yeah.

Plus, it’s of my generation.  I saw it in a movie theater.  I fell in love Farm Boy.

Wesley why did you have to go get that horrid mustache?

I know, I know, the Dread Pirate Roberts needs to look fierce, but that opening scene with the hank of blonde hair over his face and those lips.


Plus all my friends from Wisconsin give me crap about it.

Friends from highschool.

Friends from the Angelic.

I was standing in the hot lunch line at DeForest High School when Mister Stewart, my forensics coach for four years, my debate coach of four years, and my teacher for two courses, strode up to me to ask me something about an upcoming event.

“Carmen MARTINEZ,” he said in a loud blustery voice.

I stomped my foot, really?

Come on now, four years.

Four fucking years as your student and still you cannot pronounce my name correctly?

I piped up, “My name is Carmen Regina Martines,”

And my friend Dana who happened to be sitting behind me at a table full of my girl friends including Stacey, Arlene, MaryEllen, (yeah I grew up in farm country Wisconsin) and Carrie, piped up in a piercing voice,

“You killed her father, prepare to die!”

Cue massive titters from behind me, Mister Stewart blushing brick-red, and me mumbling something about yes I can do switch sides for the debate tournament if I need to this weekend.



A few years later, I don’t know why or how or when or even if I had mentioned this story to my set of friends at the Angelic, but I must have.

I mean I can’t believe that I channel Inigo Montoya that well, but maybe.

I am about to go on break.

I have my sandwich, I can remember it distinctly, it was a Friday night and it was fish fry and I was having my Friday regular (and you wonder how it is possible that I hit 282 lbs at my heaviest weight, eh?) dinner:

A fried fish, beer battered, cod sandwich on a split bun with melted cheddar cheese over the top, lettuce, tomato, pickles, a cup of tartar sauce on the side to dip said monstrosity in, a pile of french fries, with a side of, oh yes, sour cream, to dunk them in, and my beverages, a pint glass of cold milk and a liter of Coca Cola–wash down the cigarette or two I was going to have after my meal.

Jesus I am surprised I am not dead just reading that sentence.

(And a very sick part of me wouldn’t mind going back there and tucking into that plate of food again.  I said I was a sick person, shut up.)

I liked a cold glass of milk with my meal.

Really washes it all down.

I had a kind of ritual to the whole thing and it was about the only time I wasn’t on my feet running the bar.

I was about to sit and an employee came and asked me to comp something on a ticket.

I sighed, pushed away from my meal, and went out to the back computer.

I came back and my milk was gone.

Some ass hat had drunk it.

What the fuck?

I am miffed, slightly wonder if maybe I hadn’t drunk it myself, and then shrugged, went back out, refilled glass of milk.

This happens three fucking times.

I sit down to eat and get called away to fix something, comp something, make change for a bar till, check an id, who the hell knows.

Every time I get back, empty glass of milk.

By the fourth time I am over the top and say something asinine, like “for the love of God, who is depraved enough to drink all my milk?”

Ron the bartender, who has been patiently waiting for me to check out his till loses it, snorts laughter, and in hindsight I am surprised he did not vomit it all out at that moment, out his nose.

Turns beet read and says, “for the love of humanity!?”

“That’s not what I said,” I say flustered.

Ron is in convulsions and can barely get it out of his mouth, “I did it.  I drank your milk.”

“Gah,” and starts heaving between his knees.

Beth, a cocktail waitress, and Ron’s then girlfriend, comes over and listens to the story and pipes up, “Hello!  My name is Carmen Regina Martines, you drank my milk, prepare to die!”

So yeah, I am going to see the Princess Bride in the park on Saturday.

I may still swoon for Wesley.

But I promise I won’t drink your milk.


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