Her Name Was Shiloh
If that stupid coach hadn't cut us from our high school football team, we'd have made quarterback, we'd have played in college, we'd have played professional ball, we'd have married a cat-eyed model named Shiloh.
If we hadn't gotten married, and then the kids, that Harley in the garage might not be something we ride on Sundays when the weather is good. Instead, we'd be thundering across the plains, scruffy but handsome, dressed head-to-toe in leather, held tightly from behind by a cat-eyed girl named Shiloh.
Or, instead of being a warehouse manager for a medical supply company, we'd be thundering across the plains in a big rig, hauling a load of adult diapers to Dodge City, Queen of the Cowtowns. Waiting for us at the next truck stop would be a cat-eyed waitress named Shiloh.
It gets us through the days at the warehouse.
Women dream, too, but no sane man wants to know his wife's dreams of glory and romance. Also, you can tell your wife about the football dream, the biker dream and the long-haul trucker dream, but it's best to leave Shiloh out of the story. "Tell me your dreams, and I'll tell you mine" is always a bad trade.
Last January, at the age of 64, I joined a gym. My wife, who doesn't know about Shiloh, read a study claiming that weight training is the "fountain of youth" as we get older. She's a good deal younger than I am, a small woman with arms like pencils, but she joined a gym, so I had to join a gym.
I used to go to boxing gyms when I was younger. I never got very good, but I liked it, and I learned to hit and be hit. I quit in my early 40s, when I'd slowed down enough that I could be hit too often, even if I was sparring with the biggest Egg McMuffin in the gym.
I got married. I began to do laundry as a sport, and I emptied the litter box the way Jesse James would empty a litter box.
We all dream. But at 64, I knew better than to go back to a boxing gym. Guys my age shouldn't try to excel at any sport involving guys with teardrop tattoos under their eyes.