Coach Dan’s Tale 2N

But he couldn’t just say oh well, it didn’t work out with Katie, she wasn’t like Gina or Cam or, or the nameless faces he remembered, the fun times while it lasted, over when the time stopped being fun. Katie was different — not in any specific quality that she had, but in the fact that yes, he had been avoiding the word (we’re all escaping from something) but couldn’t live in denial any longer, he had loved her, and while part of him wanted her to run to Wayne, to leave him with his independence —

Dan looked around his apartment, the piles of laundry, books stored in odd places (on top of appliances, under blankets, stacked on the floor, unstacked on the floor), food spoiling in the sink, the stovetop, the fridge. He suddenly felt as if his living space had been the victim of a schoolboy prank.

He wasn’t living any longer in Bark Bay, at least not according to his definition of living, something along the lines of continual self-improvement. He had taken root, not like a flowering plant but rather like a mountain, stone and cold, immovable, immutable.

He walked into his bedroom, saw among the pile of clothes (some ready for the laundry, others not) the fencing glove he used during practice. Fencing — now there was evidence of growth. He wouldn’t have started Bark Bay’s fencing team, or club as it was, absent of Josef’s challenge. But I chose to take up the challenge, he thought, it was my choice to fight the athletic department, get the funding we needed, had made time available for my students, my fencers.

MY fencers? There’s an odd choice of word, my, like they belong to me. More like they’re my responsibility, actually, I’m responsible for their development, as fencers at least.

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