Joy and Frustration

“Because it’s fun.” Rune realized he was speaking from instinct rather than feeling, that he wasn’t so much responding to his father’s question but rather hoping to cut off his further questioning. “I really enjoy fencing.”

“Huh.” His father turned his head, looked on his son with eyes too tired to be angry. “You don’t sound like you enjoyed yourself this morning. And most times, you come home from practice Tuesday and shut yourself in your room.”

It’s also the night you usually start drinking. “I’m just a little frustrated, is all. Not having as much success as I used to.”

His father’s smile seemed barely able to keep him from laughing. As he placed his glass back on the side table, Rune felt he could read his father’s thoughts. Like you ever really had any success before?

“This is all I’m saying.” His attention was focused back on his son, hands folded across his stomach. “What’s the point of putting up with all that aggravation? Why don’t you take up, I don’t know, chess or something?”

I suck at chess too. “I’m OK, dad.”

“Huh.” A trumpet’s blare rose from the television screen; Rune’s father turned his attention back to the game.

“You want me to quit fencing?” The words had escaped before he’d fully considered their wisdom.


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