chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: Lance

fragments…Lance

stepsLance coughed. His ribs ached. His chest held the certainty that one good cough would dislodge the congestion and all would be well. But it clung to his lungs as he barked and hacked, his face red. He had no patience, no time, for illness.

Even now, in his 70s, he saw himself as the young tennis champion, the star quarterback. How he had run! Down the canyon, along the curving highway to the beach, crossing the wide expanse of raked sand to the wet-packed shore, then the mindless miles, the nimble sprints.

He could still feel the heat in his quads as he had stormed the steps each morning, lapping other runners on the way up and again, later, on the way down.

How many hundreds, thousands, of miles had he clocked, swimming just outside the break between the jetty and the pier? His arms still held the ocean’s sluicing coolness, his eyes still watched the way the sun colored the sand and palms each time he turned his head to take a breath.

That young man was alive inside him, fast, invincible. But now it was all about the breath. The steps, the ocean, the running, now something remembered, something burned away by the vodka, the cigarettes. Something he had taken for granted as he became the champion of boardrooms, traded the tennis courts for law courts, kept score with dollars, houses, wives.

Lance coughed again…
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Santa Monica Pier steps by Angel Aguilar