I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that) – Meat Loaf (1993)
Links to photo galleries included at the end
I almost did not attend the 2015 D1 WFTDA International Roller Derby Tournament in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. Even though I love roller derby, I was scared. At the beginning of September I visited my neurologist after listening to another Oliver Sacks interview. I suspected that I had prosopagnosia (face blindness). I thought that I was losing my mind and I was afraid to spend three days in the desert meeting (and re-meeting) people, but I couldn’t let my fear stop me.
I remember people. I just do not remember their faces. I remember Joy Collision when she skated at the 2012 Western Division Regional Tournament. (she is pictured above greeting friends). I remember that her number (747) is the same as a jet. I know that Joy Division became New Order after the lead singer committed suicide and I know that Joy looks like the person who sells avocados at my local farmer’s market (though I am probably wrong about this last one). When Joy wears the red 2015 WFTDA Tucson Playoffs shirt and maintains that expression, I will recognize her. No problem.
At my first WFTDA tournament in 2012, I fell in love with derby. The 7th place bout between Sacred and Angel City is still my favorite. This post about the bout is one of my favorite too. Another one of my favorite derby posts was titled Talking to Derby Girls about Joan Jett. I probably would not have mentioned it, except to explain how my face blindness works. Since I wrote about Joan Jett and Sheffield (author of Talking to Girls About Duran Duran), I have started seeing people who look like Joan Jett and Rob Sheffield. To compensate for my lack of face recognition, my mind creates additional connections, some of which are useless.
… will you hold me tight? Will you colorize my life? I’m so sick of black and white! – more Meat Loaf
Since I do not remember faces, I probably look at other details more closely. I noticed this official’s skates and his number. I see the shadow and the reflection on his helmet. I usually listen to the music closely at derby. (I even listen to the music on my way to derby and imagine the music I will use in my posts. “Queen of Hearts” did not make it, but Meat Loaf did.)
Perhaps my face blindness improves my peripheral vision. When I am photographing derby, I also listen to music and look into my past. Arch Rival, who won third place, is from St. Louis. Last weekend, I remembered that I had written something I had written about a St. Louis suburban high school when I heard the old Stealers Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle with You.” Almost six years earlier, on 11/9/9, I published a blog post about tattoos and censorship. I am still annoyed by the jokers to the right and the clowns to the left.
Team United won the 7th place game in Tucson. Tucson is the home of former Congress person Gabby Gifford. I heard that she attended the second night, but I do not recall seeing her… not that I recognize faces. On Valentine’s Day of 2012, I wrote about her and the Congressional clowns and jokers. I included a photo of the US Capitol, which I have also remembered today.
Christy Demons, #14, was the tournament MVP. Valentine’s is on the 14th. This year was the 14th anniversary of Flight 93. I knew Mark Bingham, one of the heroes of Flight 93. Today, one local news story mentioned how the members of Flight 93 did “something very American and took a vote” before they stormed the cockpit and saved the US Capitol. Today I wondered what would have happened if Flight 93 had been full of US Representatives? Would there have been a filibuster? Would America be served better if another Flight 93 Memorial were placed in front of the US Capitol as a reminder?
can you give me something I can take home?
(I can do that.) – more from Meat Loaf
All my derby photos can be found at www.aFlatTrackMind.com (collections and galleries)
All my 2015 Tucson photos can be found here (at least five separate galleries)
I edited this post on the 12th. I also continued writing well past midnight. I have included more notes and images on my www.morethankids.com blog and I will leave this post as it is, unless I find something completely wrong.