Sunday, December 29, 2019

Gary The Third Part

Gary and I had a tentative romance of hand holding and kisses.  Gary played football.   We hung out and slowly, like a leak in a gallon of milk, the news of Gary and I seeped out into the school.  Ellie was "hanging out" with Gary.  I was a part of something.  I didn't know that he would give me an air of legitimacy.  I was a football player's girlfriend.  Like it or not, I had responsibilities.

Gary wanted me to go to one of his football games.  Friends went to the games.  I was missing and it was felt.  I finally agreed to escape on a Saturday and go to one of his games.  I had to get ready so I got to the game a little late.  I wasn't sure where to sit or what to do, luckily, I saw Tracy there.  She was able to tell me what was going on in the game once I got there.  I remember it clearly.  I followed his number.  He played offense.  He was a running back... Maybe.  I was never really good at football.  Well, there I am watching Gary play.  I am pretty sure he knew I was there.  I'm pretty loud.

On one play, he ran with the quarterback.  There was a fumble.  I saw as player after player fell upon one player.  Gary was taller than me but he was a slight guy.  I watched in horror as they all fell upon him.  I then watched in even more horror as one by one they peeled off of each other.  On the bottom of this mountain was Gary, laying on the bottom.  I never told him about the fear that encapsulated me as I watched his motionless body laying there on the field.  I held hands with Tracy and I hope that it wasn't just teenage angst and drama that had me with tears brimming on the corners of my darkly eyelined eyes.  When they called for the medic, I admit now, nearly forty years later that I was close to hyperventilating.

Do you see what happens?  In games?  They bring the medic out and in the camera, you can see the player get treated.  I didn't have the benefit of a camera. I only saw the grown up huddling around him.  I breathed a little deeper when I saw him make the effort to get up.  They wanted to put him on a stretcher.  He refused.  That's when I knew for sure that he knew I was there.  It took two people to help him off.  He limped off the field with minimal assistance.  They were going to take him to the emergency room.  I wouldn't see him.  I saw him when he waved to me slightly.  I don't know who won the game and truly I didn't care.  It was a groin injury.  I can't imagine the pain it took for him to insist on walking the length of the field because I was there.  Maybe there was a little love there.  The season was over for Gary.  He walked with a cane for a while.  After the game I took a picture of us.  I think it is the only picture of us together.  Gary, my hero.

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