Beggar Boy Blues

Chapter 21, Blog 1

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang

chuckwells2008@gmail.com

Too much information? Really? You think so?

Sterling packed up and took off. I felt lower than a slug. All I had was one masochistic race and my quest – or delusion. Whichever you prefer. Peabody sure thought it was the latter.

What did he say?

“At his age, he has no real chance of running in any Olympics.”

… try saying it in a condescending tone…

“Even you must realize, at your age, you have no real chance of running in any Olympics.”

… perhaps give it the pompous asshole touch …

“It is well known that at such an advanced age, one has no chance of running in the Olympics.”

… now go make ’em stick it up their ass …

Cursing myself all the way home, I vowed I would hold on no matter what. It was all I had. And if I knew one thing, it was I needed a coach.

A REAL DAMNED COACH. NOW.

I sucked up my pride and trotted over to see Rockard. This time I dropped by his latté-colored bungalow, hoping he hadn’t run off to Minnesota or Canada or wherever that summer cabin of his was. Rockard was home, but he was packing.

“I need you, man,” I said as a waif might.

“The fish need me more,” said Rockard, intent on finding his wading boots. “I should be wearing them out in a thigh-deep creek, casting for rainbow trout by now.”

“But you know what I’m trying to do here. I’m right there, Coach, knocking on the door. Can’t you stay and help me?”

“Fred,” said Rockard. “I jist can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Cuz I don’t wanna.”

“That sounds selfish.”

“OK, maybe it is, but all I git off is the summer. And it’s gittin’ shorter all the time. And after that is football, and then I got wrestlin’, and then I got track … ”

The coach who looked like Santa wasn’t going to give me anything, so I tried empathy.

“I know, I know,” I said. “You need a rest.”

“And the damned summer is almost over,” Rockard said.

“Can’t you help me for a week?”

“Look here, I can’t help you even if I wanted,” he said. “I’ve never trained anyone for that.”

“Coach, look. I’m begging you.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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