It ate at him, clawed at him, took a piece of him forever. A loss. A simple loss. To an opponent. An opponent who he disliked with all of his being, so much so that thinking about him made him nearly wretch. He couldn't possibly count all the hours that disappeared into the ether of time running the match through his mind. His head pounded. Sweat glazed his skin. His heart thumped, and his guts revolted. Like the character Alex in A Clockwork Orange who, sitting in the chair of torture, has his eyes pried open to watch unpleasant films over and over. And every single time the moments of the match flashed in his brain he begged that time clock could reverse and he would be able to fix a move here, change a sudden strategy there, balance what was unbalanced, speed up a shot that was a half-second too slow. But time does not reverse, and his loss could not be turned into a victory. So it continued. Playing its disgusting, unacceptable conclusion every time. Six minutes. With him losing. His opponent's hand raised. And walking off the mat a loser. Through the stark illumination of the ceiling lamp, skulking into the pitch darkness of the gymnasium and fading away.
Alfred C. Martino
Updates from everyday life as seen by me