Excerpt for Rugby Dreams...An Early Prologue by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Rugby Dreams…an early prologue

A throbbing sensation in my ribs is what initially woke me up. Trying to lean forward with flaming soreness from head to toe. As my head eased up, my mind realized a new way of getting out of bed was needed this fine morning. Using my hands I nudged myself close to the edge of the bed then let my legs swing down. Using my legs as support, it was decided by some inner calm to simply roll off the bed and lay face down on floor for a second. As my arms pushed up on the floor and the achy legs straightened, the sensation hit me that I might very well break in two if I stand up too quick. As the torso slowly got to something resembling vertical, a hot poker went into my lower back, “Maybe just a shuffle to the kitchen then”. As my hand reached for the door nob a new throbbing sensation exploded out of my right shoulder,

Faahhhck...was the sound that came out. The brain immediately reminded me why the shoulder was hurting, the memory of that ripping sound while tackling that big fucker in the last game, caused a wince, and I instinctively braced my right arm with my left, keeping it as still as possible. Enough adrenaline during the game and beer after the game had almost made me forget. But now it was back demanding attention. Everything hurt, I leaned against the doorway on my left side until the throbbing eased a bit. My right hand rested itself against my belly to stabilize and using my left hand now, I turned the knob and opened the door.

The smell of stale beer, piss and vomit mixed with various perfumes and colognes left over from the previous night wafted directly into the nostrils un-inhibited. My stomach suddenly recoiled and reminded my brain that the only calories I had eaten since playing in a 2 day rugby tournament that ended yesterday afternoon…“Wait what day is it today?”…was a Cheeseburger…and…damnit, that’t all!? There was of course the beer. How Many? Ahh, does it really matter? Various organs in my body must have decided to weigh in too now and maybe it was a bit too much for the brain after so much stimulation. The pulsing, pounding sensation started in the temples and eventually seemed to cover every part of the skull. My eyes twitched a bit as an inner voice proclaimed “Get some fucking water dumbass.”

I attempted more of a slide on the hardwood floor to ease unnecessary bobbing movements, but the various sticky spots deemed this ill-advised. A couple of rests were necessary to make the epic journey from my bedroom to the kitchen, when the body just seized and said, “NO, Fuck this”. It seemed to take 5 – 10 minutes to get to the kitchen, a trip that normally probably took 3 or 4 seconds. It was in the kitchen dealing with the beginning of shakes as well that I knew I was also going to need a beer. But, first, water. I turned the kitchen sink on full cold and let it run for several seconds before sticking my whole head under and drinking some water straight from the faucet. Keeping my right hand against my belly, I used my left hand to wipe the water off my face and immediately the throbbing eased a bit. Then, flipping off the faucet, opening the fridge to find to my relief a 12 pack of Busch Light that still had a few left. I grabbed one, cracked it open while still keeping my right hand against my belly. I took several big swigs and set it on the counter. More of the throbbing pain throughout my body eased off. A friendly party patron who had been at the house the night before had left me a half a bottle of prescription pain killers. Somewhat reluctantly I grabbed the bottle of painkillers from the cupboard. One was it, and even that felt somewhat disagreeable; but, my weed stash was bone dry and my pot dealer was out of green for at least a few days, so adjustments had to be made.

My hands and eyes then scanned the cupboards and refrigerator for any quick fix for food. Found there was still some cereal and milk…but eating mostly with my left hand proved to be a little difficult. The right shoulder was only happy at this point not moving at all. Eating in the kitchen a bowl of cereal while leaning against the counter, I looked out the window to the beginnings of a new day…wait, is it getting darker?...

It took several minutes looking out at the rising sun to realize that it wasn’t rising, it was setting. What the fuck?! Holy shit…wow…rugby.. The body was still exhausted even though it had just been passed out for basically a full day, and all now the body wanted was sleep. My body slowly turned and started the long shuffle back to my room.

It was 2004, I was 24 years old.

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