Never mind, he
said with his eyes, putting me in mind of the time he made me run on a broken
leg for a week.
At night, after
those meaningless big suppers of steak and milk and dry toast, I began to
realize this: "Lu Libble won't let you start this year, not even in the
Army game against your great enemy Art Janur (who pushed me out of the showers
when I was a kid in Lowell High but got his comeuppance from Orestes Gringas),
and not even maybe next year as a junior, he wants to make a big hero out of
his Italian Mike Romanino, well Mike is a great passer but he runs like
Pietryka, like an old cow. And Hank Full's leaving. The hell with it. What'll I
I stared into the
darkness of the bunk rooms thinking what to do.
go into the American night, the Thomas Wolfe darkness, the hell with these
big-shot football coaches, go after being an American writer, tell the truth,
don't be pushed around by them or anybody else or any of their goons.... The
Ivy League is just an excuse to get football players for nothing and get them
to be American cornballs enough to make America sick for a thousand years. You
shoulda stuck to Francis Fahey.... "
Well I can't
remember what I was thinking altogether but all I know is that the next night,
after dinner, I packed all my gear in my suitcase and sauntered down the steps
right in front of Lu Libble's table where he was sitting with his assistant
coaches figuring out plays. My bones were rasping against my muscles from the
overtraining; I limped. "Where are you going Dulouse?"
to my grandmother's house in Brooklyn and dump some of this clothes."
Saturday night. Be back by tomorrow at eight. You gonna sleep there?"
"Be back by
eight. We're going to have a light calisthenics, you know the part where you
get on your back and turn your skull to the grass and roll around so you won't
get your fool neck broken in a game?"