Kick In The Ass

Chapter 10, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


“Damn, Ralphie, it’s barely 7 o’clock.”

“Jist kiddin’.  Here, I brought back yar ball.”

He whistled the basketball at my face. I caught it inches from my nose and threw it back harder.

“That’s not my ball,” I said.

Ralphie snagged it easily but appeared confused .

“Ya sure? My ol’ lady’s tired of trippin’ over it.”

“It’s not mine, and you know it.”

I decided to be proactive.

“So what the hell do you REALLY want?”

Caught off-guard, Ralphie shifted his weight back and forth. The black eye I gave him had almost disappeared.

“I wuz thinkin’ … ”

“That’s a change.”

“Shuddup! Don’t make this any tougher than it already is.”

“Well, what do you want?”

“I’m sorry.”

It was rare as an Indian head nickel for Ralphie to apologize. But I was still minus a tooth and angry. So angry, I would have hit him again if I didn’t have my foot in a bucket.

“Sorry? Sorry for what?” I yelled.

“About whut I said. Ya know … ”

“And … ”

“I didn’t mean it.”

I sighed.

“That’s all right,” I said.

We paused. My anger dissolved. I guess he meant it. Ralphie slouched, hands in his pockets, staring at the floor. For Ralphie, that was as sincere as it got.

“So why ya doin’t dis?” he asked without looking up.

I exhaled long and loud.

“Why am I doing this?” I asked rhetorically.

I pondered the question, a question I had answered only in bits and pieces.

“I really don’t know.”

Ralphie looked up, mystery draping his face.

“It’s not like no one’s makin’ ya,” he said.

“I know.”


I shrugged my shoulders,

“All I know is I’m waking up in the middle of the night, calculating what I need to run in my third split.”

“Ya can’t sleep?”

“I’m stuck,” I said. “I can’t do anything without thinking about it. Yeah, I’m obsessing.  Can’t help it. I’m obsessed. Or just crazy.”

Ralphie took a tentative step toward me.

“Chuck, we’re almost 50,” he said. “We’re not kids no more. We’re … ”

“What are you saying, Ralphie?” I blurted, knowing full well where he was going.

“Face it. Ya got no chance.”

… hey, Dummy, maybe you should listen, you might learn something …

“What ya mean?” I growled.

“Ya got a better chance of landin’ on da moon, dude,” he said. “Jist give it up. It’s a waste of time.”


“Chuck … ”


Ralphie took a slow step back. He opened his mouth to speak.


I pointed to the door. Without another word, Ralphie left.

But he had just kicked my ass.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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