In tenth grade we started reading Lord of the Flies, and for some reason, re-enacted scenarios from the book in gym classes.
Once a month the tenth grade girls shared the gym with the senior class boys and played matball. Matball was like kickball, except it used the entire gym and the bases were mats. If anyone listened to the rules, it was hard to tell. The concern for each girl was not really winning or losing. If you were able to go to your next hour class without the word Wilson or Voit imprinted on your face, you considered it a victory.
I remember the teacher telling us, if you did, in fact, get hit in the face, you were still “safe” and could keep playing. But were we? The dizzying blow to the face never felt good, least of all safe.
It was hard to settle into the practicality of typing class after ducking and dodging for an hour, but the tap of the keys would eventually lower our heart rates, until the teacher announced a words per minute test, and once again we were off to the races.
During the first timed test I typed my name – Josi Hi. I tried to convince the teacher that this is what I was actually going by these days, but she didn’t buy it. An even harder sell was for my friend Lisa Podolski, who would, for the remainder of the year be known as Lola, which grew naturally into Lola Falana.
Much to our surprise, the real Lola Falana was playing at the Carlton Room in Minneapolis. Josi Hi and Lola Podolski, out of respect for the mere karma of it, went to see her for our sixteenth birthdays.
We took comfort in the randomness of it all. I still do. I don’t know what today’s lesson will be, but dizzying or not, I’m going to keep playing, and make my way to the show!