At the end of the match, Red Dan came up to me for a review and rundown and a "see you after the holidays." Course, after seven lost games we were a little beer-warm and there wasn't really much to say.
I had played well though.
"I was worried there for a second," he said, "With the way you played that first game, I thought we may lose our last place spot in the league." Sure, I know resurrecting this compliment is a a little pat-myself-on-the-back-ish, but as a rookie, I'm pretty proud that I don't suck.
The team from Gene's bar walked out with their visitor's victory and their bad taste in jukebox music. I paid up and sneaked out with the cook and Tom. We went to the the other tavern two blocks down the street. That's what Edison has. The Edison Inn and The Longhorn Saloon. The Edison has shuffleboard and old people. The Longhorn has some trampy bartenders, a younger, louder crowd and awful lighting and plastic seating. We went there anyway for a cap.
Tom is called Frog by most of them down there. He lives just houses away in his grandparents' garage and can be found any evening at either the Edison or the Longhorn. I like to think of those bars as his parents. They take care of him there. Fact, let this note serve as my reminder to bring him a space heater next time I roll in.