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OPINION: Yeah, I Think I Can Do It

December 1, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Pat Lowenstein

By Pat Lowenstein

OPINIONS TO START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT

It was a few months back. I was feeling really down. I had just lost a big competition in which large amounts of tubular snack foods had to be consumed quickly during a short period of time. I was sitting alone in the locker room, toweling off. I had a terrible fire in my belly and a great shadow had passed over the high windows. I had the blues, I’ll admit to it.

I was feeling really down. I had just lost a big competition in which large amounts of tubular snack foods had to be consumed quickly during a short period of time.

I looked down into my duffel. There was a brand new ceramic knife there (I collect them) and I thought about how easy it would be to slice open my neck and die against the lockers (yep, that’s how bad off I was, folks). No one would find me for days– not until the competitive tubular snack food circuit rolled around again. I unsheathed the knife. And that’s when Dennis Updatables walked by.

Dennis was the champ– everybody knew it. But he was a general good guy and he liked me. “You’ve got the elan,” he would often say. “Don’t throw it away. Follow your dreams.” The younger guys– we clung to him like children– gathering around on those long bus rides to hear him spin yarns of his decades on the circuit. He was in the twilight of his career, sure. But he was still topflight in my book.

“Feeling bad, Pat?” he asked. He slowly reached for the knife and took it from my sweaty hand. “No need for this though. How’s about I hold onto this tonight?” He threw the knife into his duffel and joined me on the bench.

“I’ve got something for you, kid.” He reached into his breast pocket. “Take care of the fire in your belly first. And then, you can take care of that fire in your mind.”

Dennis Updatables

Dennis Updatables– aging champ.

It was a roll of antacids. The good stuff too– foreign brand, maybe from the Islands. He popped a couple off into my palm. “Sit back and close your eyes,” he advised. I took two down in one swallow.

Everything opened up then. I forgot totally about the knife and my idea of ripping open my throat and bleeding to death against a row of lockers.

He put his hand on my shoulder. “Feeling better?”

“Yeah, gee. I feel great.” He smiled.

He stood up. “Keep at it, kid. You’re going places.” He threw his duffel over his shoulder and disappeared down the darkened hallway with a friendly wave of his hand. I looked after him, amazed. “WOW,” I said aloud.

So, yeah, I think I can do it. And you can too, Lankville.

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