Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The sun comes out at the end of the season

Davidson’s student body is home from Detroit now, back from the NCAA tournament and a weekend of glorious basketball that ended, improbably, with one shot bounced off Davidson’s backboard. Sunday night’s game lasted till nearly 1:30 am here, and I couldn’t sleep afterwards, replaying the last seconds of the game and the dice roll that ended Davidson’s run.

I woke up gloomy, determined to avoid the news so I wouldn’t have to read sports reports and the articles spouting "just as I predicted". (Why sports journalists care so much about being right in retrospect is beyond me. When a game is lost by two points in the last five seconds, who can call the better team?).

A kind friend let me replay the game at lunch on Monday. Then she asked if I minded the weather - sunny finally, and warm - a contrast from the gloominess of Davidson not winning. Not at all I replied. Sun means spring and summer. Prague as paradise starts now.

Walking home and back to work, I realized it was true. The sun swept away my morning mood. I took my time strolling up our street and watched neighbors go about their business - most of them lingering outside too before going into stores and offices, or boarding trams to downtown.

An older lady stood in front of a travel agency, inspecting trips to Greece. She glanced through the plate-glass window, tucked a brochure into her purse and straightened her silk scarf before walking on. A young woman with child in stroller carefully folded back the carriage top so that the sun could reach her (still) well-swaddled baby. Teenagers lounged in groups in front of the high school, sunning themselves in poses as cool as they could assume without setting up lounge chairs.

Arriving home, I shook out my keys and pushed open the heavy front door. I stepped from the warmth of the sidewalk to the coolness of our hall and was nearly ready for work. First I thought I might read what the news had to say about Davidson’s team nearly beating the biggest Goliath they’d played yet.

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