A CLEAN, WELL-DARKENED ROOM

THE MACK ADAMS STORIES, VOLUME 3: A CLEAN, WELL-DARKENED ROOM

It was very late as Mack and Will sat together in the dark. Oklahoma could make you feel hollow inside. But Bellmont was a good place to watch film. Tonight they would drink and watch film before going home to their wives. Then their rummy would put up the chairs and sweep.

Stoops reminded them of the war. In the film he waved his arms and shouted at a man in uniform. Will became angry watching this. He waved his own arms as he talked to Mack.

"That man is without honor."

"Stoops is all right, Will."

"This may be so, Mack. But I do not like his face."

Will did not know why he did not like Stoops’s face. He rubbed his chin as he thought about it.

They watched Texas tackle the Oklahoma player. It was good tackling. The kind that made you feel good to watch. The football had come out on the tackle. Texas would have the ball. In the film Stoops was very angry. The fat little generalissimo beat his deputy savagely with his hat. Will stood up on his seat.

"¡Qué chingón!, Mack."

"It was good tackling."

"It was better than good, Mack. Now we have the ball."

"Yes."

"Now the players will move the ball."

Mack knew that this would not happen. But Will liked watching movies.

"They might, Will."

"Greg will call plays and Texas will score. After that, we can go home to our wives and Bill can sweep here."

"All right, Will."

As they watched Stoops, Will made the shape of horns with both hands in the dark. To make horns against a man who was away from his wife dishonored that man. Will knew that in the dark Mack could not see the horns he made for Stoops. This pleased him. He talked to himself as they watched Texas try to score.

"Nada . . . nada . . . nada."

After three plays, Texas punted. Will was angry.

"What is happening, Mack?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why does Greg go sideways and not straight? Why does he move the ball the wrong way?"

"Perhaps he has a plan."

"What plan, Mack? Why would it be a good plan to go the wrong way?"

Mack did not answer.

"Other teams get stopped when the tackling is good. We get stopped going the wrong way."

They sat quiet for a while. Will spoke.

"Mack?"

"Yes, Will?"

"Greg is my friend."

"Yes."

"He signed the papers for my auto."

"Yes."

"A Civic is an honorable car for a man, Mack."

"You have a good one, Will."

"It is almost paid for."

"Yes."

"He found my family a house. You have been there, Mack. You have broken bread with my family."

"I remember."

"In this home that Greg found."

"Yes."

"From our porch we can see planes land at the Bergstrom. So close one feels one can touch them. You yourself have seen this."

"It is a fine place, Will."

"We hear the big, powerful engines as we sleep."

"Yes."

"It is all my wife talks about."

"I understand."

"When I came I had nothing. Now I live the dream wagon. I have a fine home and car. I know where the fish should bite in Waller. All this I owe to Greg."

"This is a lot, Will."

"It is a lot, Mack. But still there is something wrong."

"What?"

"Greg always shows me the right way, but he has the players go the wrong way. Why does he do this?"

The film was bright in the dark room as the men sat quiet with their cold drinks.

"We will ask the Major," Mack said.

Texas would score and beat Oklahoma. Then they would ask the Major and go home to their wives. After they left, their rummy would put up the chairs and sweep. It was a good, clean place to watch film together.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Barking Carnival

You must be a member of Barking Carnival to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barking Carnival. You should read them.

Join Barking Carnival

You must be a member of Barking Carnival to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barking Carnival. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker