Chapter 18, Blog 2
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
I had heard enough.
“What the hell do you know about the right thing to do?”
“I don’t like da sound of dat … ”
“Remember the time you hit a baseball that smashed ol’ man McCracken’s windshield?”
“YOU hit dat baseball,” said Ralphie. “I wuz pitchin’. I told ya we should have scrammed, but nnnnnoooo. Ya had ta go tell him.”
It WAS the right thing to do, Ralphie.”
“So DIS is da right thing ta do, Chuck?”
“Alienate your wife, your kids, your friends because of whut – some fool notion? Sounds kinda selfish to me.”
“Yeah, I guess it does. I don’t know.”
“Then why do it?”
After six weeks of studying the question, I wished I had a clear-cut answer. Instead, it occurred to me I had entered the ill-fated quest stage, making me the ancient Don Quixote of track and field. No doubt I was the right age.
“I guess it’s the same reason Vince did it,” I said.
“And dat is … ”
“Because he could,” I said.
“Because he could?” echoed Ralphie.
“That’s right,” I said. “And did you happen to notice how his friends stuck by him? No matter what?”
Ralphie leaned back on the sofa and stared at the ceiling.
“All dis bullshit for whut?” he asked. “And don’t tell me it’s worth it. Cuz it’s not.”
“No, I can’t say that. Maybe it’s not.”
“Dat’s real progress,” mocked Ralphie. “Why didn’t ya think of dat a month ago?”
“All I know is it’s all I got left, Man.”
“Don’t give me that ‘nobody else is gonna do it’ crap,” said Ralphie. “I’m way past dat. That works only on Boy Scouts.”
“What if I told you I broke 1:49 last Saturday?”
Ralphie’s face froze in wonderment. I thought I would have to resort to Melinda’s time-tested slap upside the head.
“Dat’s crazy,” Ralphie finally said. “I’d say you were lyin.”
“More like coasting.”
I know, I know. But I felt like bragging. I had to tell somebody. Freshmen don’t give a hoot about anything. Nothing seems impossible to them – yet.
“Dat means… ”
“I can do it.”
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang