Chapter 30, Blog 4
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
“Crossed electrons?” I asked. “Is that even possible? My physics lessons escape me at the moment. All I know is electrons are negatively charged and …”
“Here is a lesson in logic,” my coach said. “Did they ask your age?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Probably saw your age and put you in the Master’s race. That’s my guess,” said Harry.
“They shouldn’t even be asking my age. I should never have put that down,” I said, warping into indignant mode. “I’m not going to get to run tomorrow, am I?”
“Well, I am still working on it,” Harry said with resignation. “The head honcho, name’s Anthony or Andrew, I cannot remember. Anyway, he said if one of the runners fails to show tomorrow, you could … ”
“And how likely is that?” I snapped.
Coolly, Harry stared me into submission and bit his lower lip.
“Right now, Charlie, it’s the best we’ve got.”
“It’s not going to happen, is it?”
“You will be here tomorrow, and you will be ready,” said Harry.
We drove back to the motel and took Melinda and the girls to Cracker Barrel. Harry told everyone about the snafu. Melinda thought it was the funniest thing this side of the Mississippi. The girls didn’t know what to say, so they giggled through dinner. I was one green bean away from searching for a river to jump in.
For more than a year, I had sacrificed and almost lost my family only to be herded into a Master’s race. Now, I had to be back at the track by noon Saturday, sit tight, stay loose and see if someone would have second thoughts about running a couple of laps in the beautiful Iowa sunshine. It sucked more than Terre Haute, and I told Harry it sucked. I could tell he was about ready to snap, too.
“Just shut up, Princess. Just shut up,” he said.
“Yes, Princess. You heard me,” Harry said. “You remind me of a royal pain in the ass sprinter I used to train in Louisville.”
“Was she good?” I asked, not really caring.
“She was dynamite,” said Harry. “But she had the IQ of a walnut.”
“I’ve got the IQ of a walnut?”
“Most times, Charlie, you don’t even have the shell.”
“Harry, did I ever tell you, you’re my hero?”
“Like I used to tell her: Just shut up and run,” said Harry. “Jesus, you make it sound like you’re working for NASA.”
“NASA should be so lucky.”
I sure wasn’t.
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang