Hi folks, I woke up yesterday and got sucked into the excitement ot the Michigan/ichigan State game. This is, for me, a short story that feeds off of that excitement. Kudos to the great Barney-R for his clutch editing performance. (it took me less than a day to write this and he edited it in only a few hours) Anyway here it is. SS06
Most of the people on the street looked up as I drove past. They were drawn by the sound, like that of a huge angry bear on steroids. My Pype bomb exhaust system announced the presence of my blacked out 2014 Mustang 5.0.
People walking down the street had several reactions. Most smiled in appreciation at the automotive masterpiece that was my favorite vehicle of all time. A smaller number, actually stopped what they were doing and stood in slack jawed worship. Those were the faithful, the ones like me who knew the score. And a very small number of people actually frowned as they watched me go by. They were either turned off by the loud visceral punch of my car's sound, or jealous Camaro/Challenger owners.
I parked the car and locked it. I was heading for a small shop that early Saturday afternoon. I had finished my morning run. Then, I'd done the yard work alone. That was a rarity, because normally I never did anything outside of work alone. But my wife Crystal had a very special customer who was getting married this afternoon. So she had decided to break her standing rule about us being apart on the weekends, just this once.
Life had a way of moving at a speed that was either ridiculously fast or ridiculously slow depending on the situation. If your heart is broken and just being alive is painful, then a year seems to last several centuries, with each month, each week, each day and every minute seemingly stretching to infinity. On the other hand when you're happy and in love, days seem to pass so quickly that a week goes by in only seconds. Your brain scrambles to remember each precious detail as time accelerates into your future.
Over the past two years, I'd had one of each. One year of absolute agony, followed by one of absolute bliss. I'd been so busy concentrating on the bliss that I had almost forgotten what weekend this was.
I laughed when I thought about it, because for much of my life this had been the most important weekend of any year for me. It wasn't my birthday. It wasn't Christmas. For me and most of my family this weekend, the annual U of M vs. MSU football game, was the best weekend of any year. It had the potential to be either blissfully Nirvanic, or heart-wrenchingly bitter.
It all depended on who won that game. The alumni of both schools lived for their schools and the rivalry only became more heated as the years went on.
After dedicating my life for so long, to that rivalry, it struck me as almost funny that this year, only hours before the game, not only was I not going. I'd had no idea that the game was going on that day and God help me; I really didn't care.
I guess I'd been so preoccupied with a thousand other far more important details to even consider a game that I wasn't playing in important. As a matter of fact, I was now a Lions fan and was looking forward to seeing them play in London, England the next morning. I had somehow failed to notice the brightly colored blue and green banners strung up all over town.
As a matter of fact, it was hearing an interview on the radio as I drove to the shop a few moments ago that reminded me of the game. Michigan's coach, Shady Hoax ... I mean Brady Hoke was being interviewed. I didn't bother listening to the interview.
I actually didn't care what Shady had to say. I changed the station and listened to some music.
As I'd gotten out of the car, looking towards the shop, I heard a voice behind me.
"Hey, Michigan Man!" I turned and saw my dad's best friend, Al, bearing down on me. The older, balding man caught up to me and vigorously shook my hand as if he was operating one of those antique manual water pumps.
"Long time no see," he yelled. The man had always spoken so loudly that it made me wonder whether or not he had a hearing loss.
"It really has been, Mr. Bundy," I said.
"Are you watching the game on the giant screen TV in the bar down the block?" he asked.
"I am too," he said before I could answer. "It beats the hell out of having to try to get out of that crowded stadium; especially, if they lose. And things don't look good for the Wolverines this year. Hey why aren't you wearing your swag?" He looked me over closely and was taken aback that I didn't have a single piece of Michigan clothing on.
"Oh my God," he said. "Don't tell me that cute little Sparty girl you married has converted you! Say it ain't so! Sparty pussy can't be that good! Step out of the dark side son. Come back to the light! Your father must be ashamed of you."
"No, Mr. Bundy, I haven't gone over to the other side," I said. "I actually don't have a side at all. I don't even follow college football anymore. I'm over thirty years old. I've been out of college for nine years. Watching a bunch of eighteen year old kids playing football is no longer a defining part of my life. I guess I've grown up."
"The hell you say!" he spat. "That Sparty bitch has corrupted you. I'll pray for your soul son. I don't want you to go to hell with the Sparties." He was holding his hands up with both index fingers crossed as if he was warding off a vampire.
He cocked his head to the side and looked at me with one eye partially closed and the other open widely. It was as if he was closely scrutinizing me to see if whatever had infected me was visible with the naked eye.
I looked at my watch and realized that I had a few moments to talk to him.
"Okay Mr. Bundy, I'll tell you my story," I said.
"As you probably know, I met Melissa seven years ago. I had just been hired by my company as a CNC programmer. Melissa was doing sales for a company that sold carbide inserts for machine tools. So my boss sent her over to me so I could look through her wares to see if she had anything that we could use.
We hit it off immediately. Somewhere in that first conversation, she stopped trying to sell me inserts and actually told me that her company's products were inferior to what I was already using. I think we both knew that we were on the fast track to a relationship.
Both of us were freshly out of school and trying to make a big splash in our chosen career fields. I asked her to dinner that evening and she accepted. That dinner lead to others and after a few weeks, we were in love. A few weeks after that, I asked her to marry me and she accepted. We were both excited and walking around on a cloud of love. I didn't realize at the time that we were headed for trouble.
I had told my parents about Melissa and they were dying to meet her. The first available weekend that I could get everyone together was Michigan vs MSU weekend. I had only told Melissa that my family went all out for the game every year. We tailgated and went to every game. Mel and I had never really discussed which colleges we'd attended and I can see now that it might have been a mistake.
Mel only told me that she was excited about meeting my parents and planning our life together. Her parents had already passed at that point and she really wanted to be a part of a family again.
When I picked Melissa up on the morning of the game, I went into shock. Melissa was wearing green. It was worse than that. She was wearing an official Spartan's jersey. It turned out that one of her former boyfriends had been a wide receiver for MSU.
My heart was ripped in two. I stood there without saying a word, just looking at her. Melissa has short brown hair and enormous blue eyes. She's tall and thin with long legs and pert breasts. I was torn that morning between walking away and fucking her on the spot.
Under her jersey she wore a black long sleeved T-shirt and black leggings. Maybe it was tribal. I was feeling what the cavemen must've felt like.
When you encounter a female from another, closely related species, the drive to spread your seed and make your tribe the dominant species is hard wired into us. I wanted to take her right there and put a wolverine in her womb.
She looked at me with equal shock. I was decked out in full U of M regalia. I even had my face painted.
"Oh shit," she said, looking at me as if she had never really seen me.
"Exactly," I replied. "And things were going so well."
After staring at each other for a very long time and doing a lot of head shaking, we drove out to my parents' house anyway. To say that the day was shocking was an understatement. My parents were shocked. My mother got over it and accepted Melissa. She was sure that over time Mel would see the light. My dad on the other hand took me to the side and told me to break up with her.
"Son, those mixed marriages just don't work," he said.
When I told him that I wasn't going to give her up and that I intended to marry her, he had a fit. He started cursing and calling both me and Melissa names. He told me that until I saw reason, I was no longer welcome in his house.
To make a long story short, Melissa and I got married and I haven't spoken to my dad since then. My mom has to sneak and visit me. But it didn't matter at all because I loved Mel so much that as long as we were together I was happy.
Our marriage was great. We loved each other fiercely. The school thing was only ever a factor one weekend a year. The rest of the time it fell more along the lines of good natured rivalry.
.... There is more of this story ...