"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Still Stupid After All These Years

Saturday saw the Dawgs fall to Oklahoma State; East Carolina squeak by Appalachian State and the Crimson Tide roll over the Hokies like a rogue wave pounds the unsuspecting vessel. It also marked yet another occasion for me to face the fact I have failed to learn many of life’s lessons and am therefore apparently, doomed to repeat them.

Perhaps it was the week of Mondays just completed or maybe it was merely fatigue which caused me to miss the neon like warning signs as we arrived at Jeff’s for the in-house tail gate party in anticipation of the Hokie / Tide season opener. Whatever the reason, miss them (or perhaps more accurately, ignore them) I did.

At first all was going smoothly as greetings and introductions were made. The house was filling with people, many of whom were friends from work and so with a glass of wine in hand I remained in the kitchen engaged in conversation while Beth set off with Lisa to take a look at their house and as she is prone to do, rearrange some of the furniture.

After a few moments, the aroma of Jeff’s signature ribs and wings wafting from the dining room drew me in like a burka draws the Taliban and as I filled my plate, I caught a glimpse of him over in the corner of the room, sizing up the crowd and taking it all in.

I momentarily froze; my head swimming with memories of previous encounters. You see, there is history between us; some seemingly good but in fact, all very bad. For you see, he is the type who pretends to be your friend, your comrade in arms, but in reality, he’s a self-serving, narcissistic bastard who will cut you to the quick and leave you to wallow in the depths of your own despair. Consequently, aside from a cursory nod of the head, I paid him no mind.

Ah but what I failed to remember is that he is patient; willing to bide his time and await his opportunity to strike. His modus operandi is well known to me – or should be – for over the years, we have together, played this game many times and the results are always the same.

Carefully avoiding any further eye contact, my plate and I left the room and for awhile, I felt safe; perhaps too safe, for I began to relax. I began to feel confident in my ability to avoid whatever trap may lie in wait. I began to feel secure. Consequently I let the wine flow as the Hokies faltered. And when the wine was no more, Arthur Guinness’ black elixir filled and then refilled my glass.

And all the while, I was being watched, evaluated and ultimately played.

Then with the hour growing late and the clock winding down, he made his move. Suddenly I found myself back in the dining room, cornered with no way out. And then without warning, he pounced leaving me reeling like an amateur in the ring with Ali; outclassed, out gunned and out cold.

Through the haze that was my vision I looked upward and slurred, “Damn you to hell. Never again, never again.”

With his trademark golden glint, he smiled and replied, “Nos vamos, mi amigo. Nos vamos.”

His name: José Cuervo

Consequently Sunday morning’s run was one of the longest; most brutally gut wrenching 6 miles I’ve ever run.


Anne said...

"Gut wretching" -- good one!

We had the pleasure of watching the big game w/ my older daughter and her friends, where I learned a new drinking game (thru observation!) and switched to water just in time. That Jose is a sly one, isn't he?

Tim said...


Beth Anne said...

hahaha, you are great.