The sky was purple. I was standing on the sideline during sectionals because I wasn't in that particular section of "Water." My caption head, Tim, was sitting on the scaffolding, and I could tell that he was fighting the urge to bash his head into the metal poles surrounding him.^Eight girls were on the field desperately flinging 4-pound plastic balls filled with blue water into the air, spinning wildly underneath in an attempt to do a turn-around. I faced away and pretended to not hear the telltale splashing sound of their failure. They deserved a lot of credit -- the bubbles were about as easy to control as Christina Aguilera's hair. *Splash* "OK ladies, like I said: you can't watch the ball while you're turning. You have to toss, THEN turn, and look after you're finished spinning. Otherwise," *splash,* he cringed and shut his eyes. "You're going to get hit." Gail's bubble had gone up just fine, but for some reason she decided to catch it with her face. Maybe it's a new technique, I thought. She was flat on the ground before anyone even knew what was going on, and I tried to stifle my giggle. "BAH!" I said. People looked up. "BAHahaha!" It was one thing for someone to be hit by her own bubble, that on its own was fairly humorous. What made the situation hilarious was the fact that it was Gail, the one who was usually the first to laugh at other people's misfortunes. The ensuing giggle-fest was suddenly cut short by the rapid approach of ominous storm clouds. "Looks like a storm's a-comin'," I mused. "Psst ..." I turned and looked at Amy, who was dancing awkwardly around the field. "Girl, what are you doing?" I asked. She continued moving rather ungracefully about. "It's the rain and lightning dance," she explained, as if it were obvious. "Uh, OK," I said, as I turned and pretended I hadn't seen her. Tim climbed down from the scaffolding and stood in front of us, resplendent in his bright yellow bandana with a tiny Dr. Beat tucked next to his ear. He brought out the gock block, and we all prepared for the worst. *BOOM* I heard high-pitched squeals and turned in time to see some of the horn line guys dropping to the ground in girlish terror, while the drum line took off for the gym in the background. Tim paused mid-gock and looked decisively up at the sky. "Oh come on you girls, it's just thunder." I clutched my flag sadly, its little silk waving in the wind as if to say, "I surrender, please let me live!" Tim began gocking, and I tried my best to look as pathetic and desperate as possible. He was unfazed, and we began the "Water" flag feature as if nothing was wrong. Then lightning ripped across the sky and landed off in the distance. Silently, as if we were one mind and body, we ran. I picked my backpack up and began sprinting to the gym. "FLO, your flagbag!" I made a U-turn, grabbed my flagbag, and began running for the gym again. "FLO your cooler!" Again I turned, grabbed it, and began the long run back. "FLO your-" "I DON'T CARE!" I screamed, running. I noticed someone catching up and realized it was Amy. "So I think I did the raindance too many times ..."
Florence Brown's previous essay Florence Brown, 19, is a journalism major (with a minor in dance) at San Francisco State University. This spring, she will transfer to the University of North Texas. She marched with the Glassmen in 2002 and 2003, and with the San Jose Raiders World in 2003.