Out of the stadium walked the downhearted.
The game had been a stinker. The sum of fumbles and five yard losses. The press up in the press boxes said the home team had blown their playoff chances.
Under a full Midwestern moon, the downhearted headed to their cars. Rehashing that fourth down when the quarterback had it all together – all together! – but the offense had gone out for spaghetti.
When the downhearted got to the street, a crossing guard in his late sixties waved them across. But wave isn’t the word. Because the guard was bobbing his fingers up and down. And he was shaking his torso side to side. All with a smile gorgeous and big as the full Midwestern moon.
And he threw off some of the downhearted. Who looked up to see if what they thought they had seen was real. Or if this was some gleeful away team fan rubbing it in their sad faces. But when they looked up, they saw a crossing guard in his late sixties dancing in the street as though that’s just what crossing guards were made to do.
Did he do it after losing games to lift up the fans? Did he do it after winning games, too, to celebrate with the fans. Who knows? But watching him, it wouldn’t be crazy to think he did it after every game because it made life a little more incredible.
Some of the downhearted smiled at the crossing guard. Not gorgeous and big as the full Midwestern moon. But they smiled the smiles of people who have seen something small and unexpectedly great. Some even turned back half a block later to see if the crossing guard was still cutting it up on the street. Which he was.
So, they went to their cars. Having seen the fumbles and five yard losses that can make games a little more heartbreaking. And the small and unexpectedly great things that can make life a little more incredible.