Chapter 38, Blog 2
By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang
Harry needed to say it. He puffed up like a blow toad and let it fly.
“Just who do you think you are? Listen, here! If you think you can walk in the Olympic Trials and play that over-the-hill, feel-sorry-for-me card, you are sadly …”
“What?” I asked. “We’re playing Mad-Libs?”
“You are such a spoiled child,” said Harry. “You think you know it all. Let me tell you. You ran the most ass-backward race I have ever seen. You are lucky they did not laugh you off the track.”
Squeak, squeak, squeak …
“If you’re trying to build my confidence, Coach, you’re doing one helluva job,” I said, struggling to sit up. An ice bag slid off the pile. “Did I embarrass you or what?”
“You embarrassed yourself. That’s what.”
With one hand on his walker, Harry scooped up the ice bag and tossed it back on the pile.
“I told you to run in California,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “One, maybe two races could have made the difference. Obviously, you are not ready for this, this level.”
Squeak, squeak, squeak …
“That’s one freakin’ news bulletin,” I screamed. I was certain they heard me in downtown Eugene. “NO FREAKIN’ KIDDING!”
Harry’s tirades? HA! They didn’t bother me anymore. They were designed to intimidate children, not 49-year-olds. Coupled with what I had suffered over the past two days, however, it was too much. If I could have grabbed Harry, I would have strangled him.
And he knew it.
“Hey, settle down …”
“You go to hell! You pompous sonuvabitch!”
“Typical,” said Harry. “No respect for your elders.”
“You said my legs couldn’t take it. And you know I didn’t have the money,” I shouted like an idiot. “We could have run more back home, but that wasn’t good enough for you, was it?”
“They run differently out here,” Harry bellowed back. “Any moron can see that.”
“I’m not just any moron,” I said.
… congrats, you win that point …
Harry cracked the goofiest smile I saw since I punched out Ralphie.
“No, Charlie baby,” he said. “You are one SPECIAL moron.”
Deflated and exhausted, Harry flopped on his bed and motioned for me to take off the ice. He sighed and rubbed his eyes.
“I just needed to say it. I do not mean any of it.” He sighed again. “I never thought I would get here one more time. I guess I’m losing it. It’s truly a nightmare.”
“You sure were rockin’ and rollin’ last night.”
“It’s all a purge mechanism, Princess,” he said.
“I know it is.”
“Anyway, I now realize it was a mistake coming out here,” Harry said. “I cannot handle it as I should. I am too old. I should not be here.”
Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang