Today we discovered that we had played on the same field hockey team in high school. She is two years older and light-years cooler than I am, or ever was. I remember her as the strongest attack player on our team.
Really strong. Super-strong.
When I was a sophomore, we had a home game and she shot on the opposing team’s goal. I remember being in at left link, and marveling at the speed and force of the shot.
Then, I noticed that the goal keeper’s stick was at the exact wrong angle, an angle that turned it into a ramp for the ball, not a defense. The ridges on the ball rattled up and spun up that goal-keeper’s stick, slowing time, before smacking her in the nose.
The sound of the crack was dull, but the blurt of pain and the burst of blood stopped the play faster than any referee’s whistle.
Thing is, this woman has the same memory. Thing is, we both used the same adjective to describe that poor goalie’s nose: “smashed.” Thing is, decades later, that memory makes us feel bad for the keeper, but also made us both want to go out and play some field hockey.