He came at me.
“Really? You really want to do this?” I asked.
“Let’s see what you got, Shark Girl.” (Although he didn’t call me Shark Girl, because Shark Girl remains anonymous.)
“Okay, then. Bring it.”
We closed the distance between us, from the desk to the sink, both of us crouching and cautious. Yes, there were some onlookers. Might they think it strange? Unprofessional even? Perhaps it was both. But my colleague, who has some vague wrestling experience and a strong unrequited desire to train jiu jitsu, has taken an interest in my training. At various points in my jiu jitsu career, he has “tested” my progress. Today was one such day.
He reached out for me and put his hand on my shoulder. I reached out for him and grabbed behind his neck, pulling him down. Then, as he moved forward, I threw my left leg over his back, climbed up and slid my left arm around his exposed neck. As we tumbled to the ground, I adjusted my grip and put on the rear naked. He hit his heel on the floor in submission. Or something like that. It was all too quick to remember.
At that point, the others in the room took notice, and I heard, “Oh, my God. Did you see that?”
I went out for drinks with a teacher after work. We were discussing our profession and our loves and dislikes, our growing edges and where our craft is taking us. Amid the prosciutto and mozzarella di buffala appetizer, while we were delicately dipping focaccia into creamy extra virgin olive oil and sipping pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, I told her about my morning spar in the Teacher’s Room. “I know, it’s not very professional,” I said.
“Um, it would be unprofessional,” she replied, “if it weren’t so awesome. You should write about that!” And then we shared an order of fried artichoke hearts.