I pulled the dart board out of the basement the other day. Hammered some nails into a tree in the yard. Hung the board. Started flinging darts at the board.
This is something I'm good at. I'm good at throwing darts at a board, and have been for years. I used to do it in pubs, in England. I wasn't much of a talker, and talking is, after all, what ya do in a pub.
Ya talk it over. Talk over the guy sitting next to you. You talk it out. Talk someone into doing something they might otherwise might not do, if they hadn't just finished their fourth or fifth Guinness. You talk the talk in a pub because walking the walk can get to be a lot more difficult than talking. Sure, the words ya speak might come out a bit slurred, like your sight might be blurred...
From the drinking.
I wasn't much of a talker, but I wanted to impress the ladies. What was I to do? I looked at the board, the dart board, and picked up those small arrows and threw 'em. The darts went where I wanted them to go.
When I was 9 years old I won some awards. I was an archer. I was good at scoring bullseyes. When I entered high school I went out for the basketball team. I was good at scoring baskets and made that team.
Life, at various times in mine, has been like a dartboard at which I make the toss. More often than not I've hit what I've aimed for. Lucky me.
The night Donna and I met, there was an ice storm. A singer by the name of Jeff Lyman was covering Neil Young songs at the bar where we both had landed that late December night. This pretty girl struck up a conversation with my friend Jimmy. I was staring off. Listening to Jeff Lyman sing " Cinnamon Girl. " Then I heard, above the din, Jimmy ask the girl something about Europe. He'd just returned from a trip over there. And so had she.
I turned away from the music. Leaned into the girl and asked her, " Did ya get to London? Were you there? "
She said she was and that was that. The connection. I'd thrown and hit the board dead center.
Later that night she said she had to be going. She was a teacher and had to go to work the next day. I asked her for her phone number. She said no. Then asked me for mine. We said goodnight.
A few minutes later, she came back into the bar. The ice storm that had just started as we'd walked through the door of the bar earlier in the evening had gotten worse.
" Windshield of my car's all covered with thick ice, " she said. " Can someone come out and help me scrape it off? "
I volunteered. Walked out of the bar and over to her car and started scraping the ice off the windshield...
Of Donna's Dodge Dart.