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Singled Out

Now they walked behind the stands, under the announcer’s booth where Mr. Simonelli was opening up, trying to pry open the top compartment which was submerged in three inches’ worth of yesterday’s rainfall. The band, with its majorette right behind Sarge, turned under it.

It was then that the first of Brigid’s many misfortunes that day occurred.

Walking behind Brigid, watching her bare legs flushed with the cold under her poncho, he followed her as they turned into the narrow passage between the two grandstands.

At first they thought it was a sudden downpour. But then they saw that the only person getting poured on was Brigid. She shrieked as a narrow but persistent torrent of water came from way above and doused her on her poncho-covered shoulder. Everyone stopped in alarm, trying to help but afraid of being doused themselves. Sarge looked back. Brigid tried to dodge the gush of water but it seemed to follow her as she zigzagged left and right in the narrow passage. Finally a few dribbles and it ended.

Brigid stood there miserably, arms out, her poncho totally soaked and lying heavy and flat against her body, probably weighing about twenty pounds, dripping onto her equally soaked sneakers.

Sarge looked up and yelled. Mr. Simonelli looked down and, mortified, apologized frantically. There was no time for recriminations, though. Brigid breathed heavily, on the verge of tears, and starting to shiver.

“You’ve got to take that thing off, you’ll get hypothermia,” Sarge said. Wearing a sopping wet cold poncho on a day like this was not healthy.

Rod was glad to help. He put his trombone down on the pavement and helped Sarge as they carefully lifted the poncho off her. Sarge folded it up and put it on one of the grandstand benches.

As the band members came up from the rear and encircled Brigid, everyone looked at her, her arms still out to the sides, her white goose-pimpled skin interrupted only by her majorette uniform, the little circlets covering her nipples and the little “V” down below with the strings. Everyone looked around for a towel or something to dry her off or cover her with, but under a grandstand such things are not to be found.

“Maybe we should get you inside,” Sarge said.

“No,” Brigid said, realizing that she would be needed momentarily to lead the band’s pre-game performance. “My uniform’s not wet,” she said, holding up her breasts to get a close look at the circlets. She seemed to be speaking to them as she said, “The rest of me will dry off in the air in a little bit.”

Which was true. The band members had noticed it during that first wet game, the first game of the year back in September. There was a downpour early in the game. At the halftime show everyone else was still soaked except for Brigid, whose bare skin and minimal uniform dried swiftly.

“I’d best get rid of these, though,” Brigid said, noting her sneakers. She got the poncho from Sarge and put it on the ground, then untied the sneakers, wiped her bare feet on the poncho, then slipped on the low heeled silvery flip-flops that were part of her uniform. The rest of the band, fully covered and in their big boots, looked on silently as she wiggled her toes in the sandals as she stood up.

“OK then,” Sarge said, as they resumed their journey through the grandstands.

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