My friend Dee-Doh got a fiat from his girlfriend, Jessica: being on the track team is not enough; she wanted a boyfriend who was also on the football team for his boys' high school. So, being the good sort that he is, he went out for spring training, and made it through the team roster cuts to make it on the team. He became a second-string fullback, or some big muckety-muck position like that. Anyway, spring training was easy and he felt that he could go out for the team and please Jessica the Demanding Shrew.
You might say that Jessica had the upper hand in their relationship; and this is so totally expected, given that she comes from an old New Orleans family and apparently was taking dominatrix lessons at the community college in addition to being the bitch queen at my academy.
When football resumed with the practices in August, Dee-Doh got a rude surprise: two practices a day in the Louisiana heat! Oh! My! God! And Dee-Doh, bless his heart, had more nerd tendencies than jock tendencies. He didn't really like colliding against other guys during the game. It gave him a headache; and he didn't enjoy being with Jessica as much as before.
And Jessica would give him criticism -- why didn't he elude that blocker, why no touchdowns, etc. And the halftime locker room meetings were impossible, but he never said why.
And, darn it! I missed him. His time was eaten up by football, studying to keep up his grades, ministering to Jessica, and generally being tired. It stopped being glorious for him by mid-September, but there were two more months and then the playoffs.
We had a brief time together; but long enough for him to express his ambivalence; no, he indicated that he was fed up with it all.
I told him, "Quit the team; you're making yourself miserable." But I warned him that his doing so would probably result in a girlfriendectomy. I knew Jessica, you see. And his rah-rah teammates and classmates would give him grief for being a quitter.
Anyway, a little deus ex machina entered the picture. He was running with the ball, an infrequent experience, when he was bumped by another team's player and injured. I met him just after he was carried off the field. Anyway, I rode with an assistant coach who took him and his dad to the E.R. His ankle was twisted and became swollen, but it was ultimately diagnosed as simply a sprain. He was to be out for two, possible three weeks, and back for more fun and games, Catholic boy-style.
But where was Jessica? Nowhere to be seen. In effect, his little copine (moi) had to fill in the role of morale supporter instead of her.
Shall we say that, with a little solicitude and counseling on my part, the sprain took longer for Dee-Doh to recover from than the initial diagnosis warranted. Perhaps because I gave him acting lessons, he was able to convince his dad and his classmates that his sprain lasted longer than first expected and included complications. He got quite good at getting around on crutches. It took him longer to get over Jessica, unfortunately.
This is my 200th post in this blog. I hope you've enjoyed some.