Tuesday, March 1, 2011
say it ain't so
"Playing it by ear." Elliot guessed. His smile was weak. It was just hard to explain the situation to anyone.
"But, she's your wife?" Well, now it sounded like they might live in a compound. Instead of a husband with many wives it was just the opposite.
"Work is only five minutes away." No one knew how hard it was for him to get up in the morning and get ready for work. Not that he asked for anyone's assistance. "Its easier, OK. I'm not saying its for good. I mean, Amanda is in the middle of student teaching and everything. Her brother goes to the high school. Its just easier." Elliot didn't really want to talk about it. He was hoping Sam would talk about old times. Maybe he knew something about class reunions. Of course, Elliot had no reason to really want to go to one at the moment.
"OK, I got it. I know..I know..something..what you're going through. Its like when someone tells you..its OK if you aren't working, when really they hate it. They can't stand it. And..and you can't give enough..or..you know, its not easy. I was broke up with my girlfriend for three months and still didn't have any place to go. And yeah, why didn't I come right home when it first happen? I just couldn't. But I'm here now. Staying with Mom. And I can feel it already..when am I gonna get a job? When am I gonna leave?" He didn't look too nervous about it, but Elliot could tell something had crushed him too.
'Well, I kind of had a breakdown a few months ago." Elliot shrugged. He sounded like he was at an AA meeting now, fixing to tell him about that first drink he had. "I dunno what happened. I mean, I'd had this fantastic summer with Amanda. We were on the road. Everything felt so, I dunno. Together." He smiled. "I love her. I still do." He felt himself drop the momentum of happiness that stirred inside of him. There was this feeling that snapped him in two. He thought he might bleed tears, everywhere. "I love..her..enough..to let..to let her go." He was suddenly sad then and he started to cry. It was dark out. That's when it was the worst. He wiped the back of his flannel sleeve across his wet eyelids. "See, she doesn't need that." He sniffed.
It was quiet then, but he didn't want Sam to go. He cleared his throat. "So what is it that you do, exactly?" He'd forgot. He guessed he knew. Elliot was sure he knew at one time.
"Oh, sports, out at the University." Sam shrugged.
"Couldn't..couldn't you get on at a rehab center or something." He'd been to those places. People helping others to learn to use their muscles again. Someone to help you build yourself up again to live life once more.
"I dunno. I don't do real good, around people that are hurt." He winced. "I was more like a cheerleader, I guess, you know giving the team support and learning plays. That kind of thing."
"I remember that year you tried out, didn't you, cheerleading?" Elliot sighed with a laugh.
"Hahaha..shut up." Sam gave him an awkward smile. "I thought I was gonna break my back. Coaching is much easier. I don't do flips anymore. And eighth grad was the last time I ever walked on my hands."
"I bet you find something around here. Try the schools. I bet there is a need for coaching, or something." Here he was giving Sam a pep talk. He hoped Sam stayed. He needed an old friend around.