Part of writing more I think is realizing that there doesn't have to be anything monumental; there doesn't have to be any earth shaking "story" in order to justify the exercise.
Leslie loved the Steelers. She was so passionate about them, and football. Last night they played as the sixth seed in the playoffs and the game was crrrrrrrazy. And I was REALLY aware of her absence. I'm not kidding when I say she would have been on her feet, SCREAMING "you ASSHOLE!" at William Gay when he got called for excessive celebration after what turned out not to be a touchdown. I can see her face, eyebrows furrowed. Fierce. Standing in front of the television. Legs shoulder width apart. Finger. Stabbing. At. The. Screen. Punctuating each word. YOU! STUPID! ASSHOLE! Her hands to her head, running angry stiff fingers through thick hair. Turning her back on the screen and stalking back to her seat. Sitting heavily. Still mad. Me, looking up at her...half smirk...Her, coming slowly back to herself.
Emma hid during Steeler games. "Mommy is too loud. She scares me." That sounds bad. She cheered too loud for Emma. Hurt her ears. She censored herself when Emma would watch with us. Biting back the words. Anger visible. Vein at her temple throbbing. I miss that crazy-ass angry Steeler wife.
She wouldn't have seen the final field goal that won the game. Eyes closed tight. Leaning over her knees. Fingers in her ears. Too much pressure.
The field goal was good. We won. She'd have stood then. Cursed now instead at the Bengals fans for throwing shit on the field. Anger redirected at the "enemy" without. Fierce victorious wrath. Standing again. That punctuating finger stabbing at them. THAT'S! WHAT! YOU! GET!
I love watching football. But I'm too dispassionate. There's always time left. There's always another viewpoint. I'll never be the fan she was. I'm okay with that. One is enough for any house. But I'm sort of fiercely proud of her passion.
Good friend to have. Good person to have in your corner.