Chapter 43, Blog 1
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
Groggy, I could hear myself mumbling, trying to wake up. My bed felt odd, hard. Straining through the haze, my eyes could not focus. I was stuck in that twilight land between sleep and wakefulness after suffering through the stupidest dream imaginable.
Lifting my head, I …
My whole body snapped into a spasm.
“MAN! That was some nightmare.”
I turned my head to see if Melinda were still asleep – and saw two faces stare back.
… you’re still dreaming ….
The faces lit up.
“Wh-wha-what the hell …” I stammered.
It was a little black man with a gold earring, grinning at me.
“You poor, pathetic excuse for a human being,” he said. “You did it.”
He shook my hand.
“I know you?” I asked.
“Uh-oh, doc,” he said over his shoulder. “I think he’s still out of it.”
“No, I’m just kidding,” I said. “I’d know your ugly face anywhere. What’d you do? Hit me with a bat?”
“Guess I should have let you practice lunging for the tape after all,” he said.
“Your name’s Henry, right?”
“Mr. Wells, I’m Dr. Wagner,” said the young man. “I think you have a concussion. You hit your head hard on the track.”
“Yeah, I do have one helluva headache,” I said. “I hit it on the track?”
“Yes, you knocked yourself silly,” said Harry. “The EMTs had to scrape you up, so they could run the next race.”
“No victory lap?”
“HA! You’re lucky you’re still alive, you big dummy,” said Harry. “After you hit your head, they think your heart may have stopped.”
“I don’t think it’s restarted.”
“You almost screwed it up by dying,” said Harry, stroking his chin. “On second thought, think of the symbolism. You could have been a legend like that warrior who ran the first marathon – and died.”
“No, thanks,” I said. “You knew him personally, right?”
“Now I know he’s OK,” said Harry.
“Where’s Melinda?” I asked.
“They are sitting in for your sorry ass in the press room,” Harry said. “Congratulations, you finally ran a decent race. First one of the year!”
“And the last one, too,” I said. “I think I’m paralyzed.”
Like a turtle on his back, I rocked and tried to get up.
Melinda walked in with Shannon and Jessie. They were all smiles and kisses. Jessie wore my third-place medal.
“Can we get a pizza, Dad?” asked Shannon.
“Go ahead,” I said. “What took so long?”
“I think we picked up another endorsement,” said Melinda.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Defibrillators,” my wife the agent said.
“Are we going to China, Daddy?” asked Jessie, pinching the medal.
“Not today, Sugar.”
Only then, did I realize some of my fan club was still missing.
“Where’s Ralphie and Nicky?” I asked.
“Uncle Ralphie’s still at the press conference,” Shannon said, confirming my fears.
“That’s great,” I said. “What lies is he telling?”
“He’s not,” said Melinda.
“But Uncle Fred sure is,” said Jessie.
Copyright © 2013 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang