James and I played badminton today. Really. We must have been quite the sight: two ghost-skinned, chronically underslept chain-smokers, one rather taller than the other, lurching across a schoolyard in flailing pursuit of a windblown birdie. At one point, several small children appeared on their bicycles, and I’m reasonably certain they were laughing at us.
James and I are forever making grandiose plans: to see art exhibits, to take road trips, to foment revolution against various levels of government. We almost never follow through, but every now and again one of our plans actually comes together. Badminton, for example. Of all things.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the game. We weren’t keeping score so there was no drive to compete; we just tried to keep that disobliging piece of plastic up in the air for as long as possible, which wasn’t very long at all. Mind, it was terribly windy.
I realized later that, for about forty minutes or so, I wasn’t worried about anything. I forgot about my thesis and my bank account and the union and the distressing phone calls I’ve been getting from my brother and whether Atomic is okay and how long it will take me to get to sleep tonight. For about forty minutes, nothing mattered as much as keeping a small piece of plastic in the air. Go figure.
So James and I have hatched still another plan: the inauguration of the Mile End Alleyway Badminton Club. Now all we need is a net.