My Saturday afternoon/late evening has recently become a lot more open. In the long days of the offseason, I found myself scraping the bottom of my imagination for ways to fill time, striving to strike that balance between a distraction and staying responsible and safely socially distancing.
Now, after the 49ers from Charlotte have been forced to withdraw from this Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill, I find myself looking down the barrel of another empty weekend, echoes of the past six months growing louder and louder as I wrack my brain for a way to fill my time. It’s weird how quickly I slipped back into the mindset of the before-times, that feeling of knowing pretty much what I would be doing with a given Saturday in the fall.
Maybe I’ll go fishing. I spent many a pleasant hour over the summer near the Eno, casting a small lure out across the river and bring it back so it passed right by that particular rock, the one I had convinced myself was providing shade for a nice little bass. I was usually wrong, of course, but it wasn’t really about catching fish. The river may relax me, as it always has; I may even be temporarily distracted from thinking about watching the Heels running backs run roughshod over another defense.
Maybe I’ll go out to Merritt’s Pasture, set up my hammock somewhere in the trees, and do my best not to scare passers-by with my snoring. I would certainly enjoy the weather, especially after the past few days of rain. There may even be a breeze, if I’m lucky, to gently push the hammock back and forth. A late afternoon nap on the banks of Morgan Creek does sound pretty good, and it may take my mind off watching the Fox brothers wreak havoc on an unfortunate offense.
Maybe I’ll just stay home, and channel surf between games that are still happening. Even if the Tar Heels won’t be taking the field, it’s still good to have football on TV, and what better way to distract myself from the football that isn’t happening than by tuning in to the football that is?