Sports-wise, Ray is all football. He pictures himself a quarterback like Roman Gabriel who pilots his favorite team, the Los Angeles Rams, and throws the long bomb.
The seventh-grade school year nears its end. Coach Schierman diagrams a dozen plays on two mimeo stencils and hands reproduced copies to next year’s prospects. Ray recruits Larry to help him practice plays. He favors two: the long bomb and the quarterback keeper.
In the fall Ray suits up, the team’s third-string QB. Coach Schierman finally calls his number. In the huddle, down on one knee, Ray makes eye contact with each of his pass-catchers. “Go long.” He launches the bomb just before he’s flattened. Spectators cheer the mighty heave, a rising crescendo—that breaks off as the ball slip’s through Garside’s fingers.
Call it a season. Call it a career. Incomplete.