Coach Time 7B

Jimmy waved his fingers in the direction of the cafeteria doors, through which Rex and Double-J had just left. “Tell you one thing, those young men aren’t anything like the fencers I knew back in the day.” He wiped sweat from his brow as Coach Dan asked him how so. “There’s something — dark about them both. With Double-J it’s more evident, but even with Rex, I keep feeling there’s something unpleasant inside him, right under the surface.”

Coach Dan asked if he had gone to a Catholic school; Jimmy nodded, provided the name. “So what you’re telling me, my friend, is that Catholic students twenty years ago in New Orleans didn’t have problems?”

Jimmy shook his head. “Of course not, Daniel. But they — we — everyone knew who they were back then. It was a simpler time, even in a melting pot like New Orleans, at least you had some kind of identity. Those boys — ” he waved his fingers at the cafeteria doors again — “I don’t think they know who they are.”

“What they are, is fencers.” Coach Dan turned to Jimmy. “And even after all these years away from the sport, I can tell you are as well.”

Jimmy smiled, closed his eyes. “I’ll admit, I had a good time this evening.”

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