“There’s nothing like the feeling you get from the crowd, the chase, the wind between your legs, pure freedom. If ever you feel bored, low, or helpless, I will be there to save the day, to raise your spirits—and perhaps a few other things. You only live once, let it all hang out.”
Playoffs. The most stressful time of the year for a lot of people. Myself included. I was sitting in the stands, praying and crying. We were going to lose. After such a beautiful season, we were going to lose. The crowd was silent as we waited for the inevitable doom of our team. Overwhelming sadness swept over the crowd. What we would give for some happiness. We came out to have a good time. There was hope back then. Now, there was nothing but sadness. Nothing mattered except for the team, our losing, helpless team. More praying. Please, please give us some joy.
A stirring in the crowd.
Please, we need happiness. Laughter. Faith in humanity.
People’s heads began to lift from their hands. A chatter penetrated the air. I looked around, wondering what initiated this sudden stimulation in the dead crowd.
Then I saw it: a flash from the edge of the stands close to the field. I wiped the tears out of my eyes to get a better look, but then immediately shielded them; the flash was so assertive, brighter and bolder than the moon. What was happening? In my confusion, I became one with the crowd. As if with a sixth sense, I felt the birth of a great energy, a meaty energy, a lifting energy. Happiness. Hope. Humor.
I looked down to the field, and the flash shot from the stands, piercing the field. It was the fastest living thing I have ever seen in my life. As if one body, the crowd and I shot to our feet. A belly roar ensued. Never had I cheered so hard for something so bewildering.
“Don’t look Ethel!” The man next to me screamed. But it was too late. She’d already been blinded by The Streak.
I had heard of The Streak, but only in legend. Some said that he was evil and should be locked up. Some said that he only appears on nights with a full moon. Some even said that he was hunky, brave, and therefore better than all other men. All I know for certain is that he saved me that day—he saved that entire crowd—and for that reason, I consider him a hero.
The players on the field steered clear of The Streak as he whipped from one end of the field to the other. I could not believe his agility and stamina. The crowd continued to cheer, jump up and down, and laugh. It was a magical moment. All thoughts of despair had vanished. The Streak continued to pierce the air, stopping only for a small dance here and a small dance there as the crowd encouraged him.
Then, the chase began. Authorities rushed the field, wearing yellow jackets and black ball caps. The crowd roared even louder as The Streak stopped in the middle of the field. He did not look worried. He looked excited. Very excited. Like, really really excited out there. I stared in awe as the men in jackets closed in.
“RUN!” I screamed along with the crowd. We were throwing things now, having the time of our life!
At the last second, The Streak took off! He flew across the field, dodging security left and right, as if he had wangs. (Ahem, I beg you’re pardon. I meant to say “wings”). He flapped this way and that, avoiding security by the skin of his… teeth. With every juke, we cheered harder for him. He was more entertaining than the sports game. He was giving us more hope than the home team. We were feeling more happiness than we had felt all day.
When they eventually caught him, when they body slammed the living crap out of him, we gave The Streak a standing ovation. They dragged him off the field, covering his junk with a black ball cap. He had completed his mission, he had lifted our spirits, he had forged a new legend, and he had restored life to us.