It’s been two years since I last partook in a roller derby bout, so when my e-friend Bonecrusher posted on Facebook about the season opener, I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, “Well, here’s my opportunity to hate on opposing bitches and be a creepy Bonecrusher stalker. I mean, fan. Bonecrusher fan. Why is my reflection looking at me like that?”
I corralled Alisha into being my partner in spectation. The whole way to Romp n Roll in Glenshaw (we didn’t get lost, because Henry didn’t give us directions), I regaled Alisha with my favorite antidotes from the new sports radio station I’ve been listening to obsessively. I was laughing all over again at the memory of it all, and Alisha was like, “Um, maybe you should just try to get a job there.” She looked worried about me.
We were early to the bout so we had to stand in line for a bit.
“I feel cooler just being here,” Alisha said, looking around at all the non-lame people surrounding us. But really, I could take her to a landfill and she’d feel cool, just being there with me, Erin Rachelle.
There was a man in line in front of us with a long brown ponytail and a corduroy blazer the color of camels. He spoke with his female companion about funny-to-them moments they shared in Europe and I would have puked into my cupped hands if I wasn’t so mesmerized by the uncanny resemblance the man bore to someone I knew but I just couldn’t place it. It wasn’t until later, when he walked past us once we were inside, that I realized he looks like the BAD GUY from Kindergarten Cop. I pointed it out to Alisha and she was like, “I’m from Arkansas. What are movies?” So I went through all this hassle of finding a picture of him on IMDB only for Alisha to shake her head and say, “No, not all. He looks nothing like that.” At that moment, we almost fought.
I reiterated that the resemblance was uncanny before dropping the subject. (OK, it was only slight at best, but still.)
Before the first bout started, I had to use the bathroom and of course I picked a stall neighboring someone who was pooping. But it was a nice complement to the signature roller rink stench of fermented b.o. After awhile, it became a part of me.
At the sinks, I found myself washing my hands next to an exact doppelganger of ex-friend Christina. Only this one was black. But she was dressed like her, was wearing the sort of stupid hat that Christina would probably leave the house beneath under the misconception that she looked cool, had the same build, EVERY FUCKING THING POINTED TOWARD AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHRISTINA HARRISON. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Simultaneously, I wanted to die and punch her in the face. By the time Alisha was done readjusting her prosthetic hand, the doppelganger was gone.
Later, I saw ANOTHER look-alike. This one was taller, white, and a bit thinner, but it was remarkable nonetheless.
“What do you expect?” Alisha snapped. “There are a LOT of lesbians here.” I already knew that because I could tell Alisha was developing a lot of crushes. I wonder what her diary looked like after that night. Don’t worry, I’ll find out for you.
Still, never have I seen so many mirroring Christina’s duck lips and the build of a compacted football player with Elvis hair ALL IN ONE LOCATION. I was scared.
Luckily, the first bout started soon after and distracted me. Pittsburgh’s B-Unit was playing a CANADIAN team! That was more exciting to me than it should have been. The Canadian team was awful and Alisha and I took a particular disliking to their Semi Precious 10kt. Actually, Alisha hated her first and then I piggy-backed the hate because I was really in the mood of channeling some rage and spewing disparaging slurs.
The Canadians lost real bad. At least Canada still has Sidney Crosby.
Before the second bout started, Alisha was like, “Hey, there’s your friend.” I turned around and Bonecrusher was RIGHT BEHIND ME, being all glamtastic and exuding glittery awesomeness. I was so nervous, but I forced myself to call out her name. I was fully prepared to start jumping up and down and waving Alisha’s hair if I had to, but Bonecrusher noticed me after the second yell.
This is where Alisha causally leaned back against the wall of the rink and watched the awkwardness unravel. She loves witnessing me meeting new people.
After saying hi, I wasn’t sure what direction to take it, so I complimented on her cool face painting. “Does that take long?” I asked stupidly, like I was the world’s first ever reporter. She told me about the process and I just stood there and smiled retardedly, not knowing where to place my hands or where to settle my roving eyeballs. I can’t meet people! It’s disastrous. She probably thinks I have fucking Asberger’s.
I didn’t want to hold her up any longer so I wished her luck, hi-fived her, and said, “I’ll be screaming real loud for you!” Because that didn’t make me sound like a lame sycophant trying to secure a seat at the cool lunch table. As she skated away, I turned back around and pretending like I wasn’t dying internally. I was afraid to even look at Alisha, because I knew she had smirks and biting one-liners ready to explode from every orifice.
“She seemed really cool!” I said and we left it at that. Then I spent the next ten minutes kicking myself for not rehearsing this in the mirror, or making my cat Marcy role-play.
I held true to my word and screamed real loud every time Bonecrusher knocked a Maine bitch on her ass. “I know her! I know her,” I’d say every time. Meanwhile, I was texted Henry in all-caps and he wouldn’t answer me because I was being obnoxious. He was probably just nervous that I was going to wind up with another girlfriend, you know how I do.
During the bout, I suggested to Alisha that we should start our own teams. “But it’ll just be me on one team, and you on the other,” I started, and I had so many more ideas to add but Alisha stopped me abruptly and said, “No, not ever.
There was a sailor there, taking photos of the Maine team. I couldn’t get a good shot of her, but you can imagine just from this angle how awesome she must have been. Her boots rivaled Wonder Woman’s and her sailor hat was…so very kawaii. I can’t even believe I just wrote that. Anyway, I saw Alisha ogling her and I suggested she take her to the bar later to make her girlfriend jealous. Because I know if Henry brought home a vinyl sailor, I’d be forced to piss on him.
Steel Hurtin’ kicked the collective ass of the Maine All-Stars. I don’t know why Maine even bothers having a roller derby team. I love roller derby because I always forget that the opponents are actual human beings and not corrupt fembots waiting to infect the spectators with Satan’s sperm and rust shavings.
After the bout, Alisha and I went to her favorite bar, 5801, to meet up with her girlfriend Jess and Mark. (You might remember Mark as the lovely fellow who forced me to climb a ladder and break into his apartment.) I don’t go to bars very often because I don’t like sitting. When I drink, I like to be outside, playing extreme frisbee in the church parking lot across the street and diving into bushes. That’s just me. “I’m just going to stay long enough to get one glass of wine,” I warned Alisha.
But then we arrived and Mark made me feel like a visiting diplomat with the reception he gave me. “I didn’t know you were coming, too!” he exclaimed. He even stood up to hug me! Alisha doesn’t ever do that.
“It was a surprise,” I said. I think all surprises should involve me just showing up somewhere.
Jess and Mark donated their seats to us since we had stood for four hours during the roller derby bout. Actually, it was only Alisha who complained while I’m the one with spurs on her lumbar. Someone needs to send her to boot camp. As soon as I sat down, I looked down the bar and noticed several pairs of eyes on me. A straight girl has landed!
Mark leaned down and asked, “Is this your first time at a gay bar?” I told him that there was another one I had gone to several times with my ex-gay-bestie Brian. (Not to mention all the Tegan and Sara shows I had attended back in the day.) “Oh, that doesn’t count!” Mark laughed, and we both agreed about how filthy that place was. 5801, on the other hand, was awesome. It was very lime. I wanted to hug it. There was even a festive collective singalong to “Sweet Caroline” and I felt like I had finally found my way home.
Not to mention Mark and I bonded over synthpop (“Synthpop is my heart,” I said melodramatically) and then Jess, noticing my iCarly pocketbook, admitted she watches that show too and we shared our favorite parts and I felt so accepted! It only took thirty years!
Two glasses of white wine later and I was pretending to dance with this large scary spiky-hair woman next to me while her back was turned, and then almost took out innocent bystanders with an impromptu round of jumping jacks. My behavior seemed to be accepted, plus Alisha wasn’t flashing me mean looks, so I think that I will be spending more time at 5801. If only to see more octogenarians nearly stroke-out while spry dread-locked bois grind on them at the bar.
Nothing could have went wrong on Saturday. It was just one of those days that it is infused with Awesome extract from the moment you wake up until the second your head hits the pillow. There might have been an incident early that morning where I quit my job as a Mother and swore that I was leaving and taking my cats with me. But other than that, and the fact that the Penguins lost their game with .9 seconds left in OT, my face actually hurt from laughing/smiling all day.
The first day of spring is apparently very agreeable with the balance of my chemicals.
P.S. Oh good, look what I found!