When people are betting on how quickly they can destroy your clothing, it is a normal night at the Victoria Fencing Club. I arrived late (some US customs thing) and tried on some new breeches that Veronica Ho had ordered in but were too small for her. They fit me just right, or rather just tight, as the stretchy material hugged the curves. “Are you fencing or just planning to run around dressing all night?” William yelled at me (William is our 16 year old, 3 night a week fencer who is moving toward nationals).
I was quickly pushed onto the strip to fence with Steve, the tallest fencer in the club, who was unbeaten for the night. “You’re going down.” I told him rubbing the hip of my new white breeches, “I have magic breeches.” Five minutes later, Steve was staring at his epee as I won 5-3. “Magic” I said and gave the boys a saucy look while rubbing my butt slowly.
Gerald, the 50+ karate master, and Steve urge William on with suggestions on where to attack my breeches. Already a pool had started for the first person to cause a rip in my new breeches. Not tonight William. “Magic, touch the magic” I tell William at the end of the bout with my finger pointing to my butt. Linda, who came to watch, tells me to stop tormenting the teenagers. “Kiss my boo-boo?” I ask her pointing to my neck. We giggle.
Steve tells me that if I keep winning tonight and he hears me pouting another night about my fencing he’s going to push me down the stairs. Touchy, Steve, touchy. As for my fencing, I have no idea what is going on as I should be losing badly. Linda’s parents had come to visit and for the last four days we had been taking them around the island. No practice, little sleep and Monday, the first chance to practice, I go instead to the US and get drunk on a ½ pitcher of Sangria.
I face Gerald, who I haven’t been able to beat since his return from Cuba. “If you need a better view of my tightly clad ass” I tell him, “Just keep staring into the wall of mirrors behind me during the bout.” He gets a stupid and vacant look on his face as he stares in the mirrors. “That’s the spirit!” I tell him and we put on our helmets.
I have a tendency to over-lunge but with these tight breeches, over-lunging is highly discouraged. Maybe this makes the difference, maybe it’s the planetary alignments but a few minutes later and Gerald is watching as I am leaping around pointing to my breeches shouting “Magic” Oh yes, I’m undefeated, and treating it with my usual grace and tact.
William is having a bad night and wanders off to talk to one of the younger fencers who trips backward retreating from him. “I see William is cheering himself up by pushing children around” I say to Steve who immediate responds with a “Meow” and claw motion. This from the guy who started his last bout by getting in a shoving match with William as they both shouted “I’m Batman”, “No, I’m Batman!” William comes back smiling.
Amanda is here, her last week of training before going to the Vancouver World Cup this weekend. She beats me 5-2, with arm hits and one of my new problems, continuing to attack again and again once I start an attack until the other person hits me. I need a bit more self control.
It is getting close to 10 pm and someone has fence Steve who, besides me and one bout with Amanda is undefeated. “I don’t wanna,” I complain to Amanda, “He’s too hard to get too.” She agrees as no matter how far you lunge or get past the blade, he’s still too far away. Actually, since I am ahead in bouts 2-1 with Steve, I want to go home having beaten him for once but I agree to go on. He starts by getting the only successful touch to my thigh for the evening (that one’s going to bruise) before I start getting all these amazing arm and hand touches that give the impression that I have control of my point and have been putting in lots of practice. With one point to go, I charge and he retreats, pulling his body back so far it puts his head at chest height, just hanging there (he later claims that my obsessed attack on his future children was the cause of such a strange position). With the sweet taste of an insanity-driven desire to win in my mouth I launch myself into the air trying to fly over his blade like a high-jump takeoff in order to hit his helmet. I have no idea how I landed but I got the touch! Bout Elizabeth, oh yeah!
Amanda steps on and we will fence the final bout. Linda is still watching and I promise her that “this time” I would win. I manage to resist most of my mistakes and find myself ahead 4-3 in this five point bout. I realize that the pressure of possibly winning is going to screw me up, tighten up my muscles, and cause the point to fall short. I decide I will try a risky approach on the first point and safe on the second. After a few engagements I beat her blade aside and then do a long lunge to her ankle. She is still too far away so I dive forward with such total abandon that the force of the dive continues into a rolling sideways somersault. “Did I get the point?” I ask Amanda, my head at her feet. “Nope, I did.” Curses!
I play it safe after that and do half lunge arm attacks until Amanda gets my timing and counters. Bout Amanda. The Coach Mr. Ho offers me some advice, “Better way to win...keep feet on ground.” Hmmm....I’ll think about it. “Sorry Linda, I’ll get her next time.” I am aching in all sorts of strange places and she gives me a consolation kiss. I point to a place on my no-longer-magical breeches, make my pitiful face and say, “Boo Boo?” She gives me a look that says, “Dream on.”
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