I hate P.E. and the sight of green once again spreading across the corner of Artesian Park across from school each spring.
The southeast corner, to be exact, where I suffer through the tortures of Physical Education with activities such as catching a first softball… with my nose… and the annually humiliating 400 yard dash, a quarter mile of side cramps and red-faced misery.
Nauseous and breathless.
Always one of the last to stumble over the finish line.
Destined, in Mr. Dieden’s eyes, to be stuck at the bottom of life’s climbing rope forever.
“Walk it off!” he likes to holler unsympathetically to us stragglers, scattered and collapsing at the side of the coned-in track, circling the corner patch of park grass.
Mr. Dieden, with his crisp, white, short-sleeved shirt and shiny, bald head.
Mr. Dieden, with an ever-present whistle around his neck and clipboard in hand.
Who makes me write: “I will never say ‘Shut Up’ in Mr. Dieden’s 6th period gym class again.”
1,973 times. (One sentence for each year.)
Didn’t even get the “up” out before his voice echoes off the old gymnasium walls, “Miss Celano. I’ll see you after class.”
Like he’s been waiting for it. Hoping for it.
Never a word to Jeff, on the other side of the net, about his “gold bricks and rich brats” remark.