Day 7 Continued

Sunday night, after a delicious steak dinner with the family and Jim's best childhood friend (who popped by for a visit and was immediately propositioned with dinner - something I thought only actually happened in movies like Gone With the Wind and Pride and Prejudice), Peter loads me into his father's truck and we head into town to visit his high school football coach, Waverka. The two have remained close, and Peter informs me on the ride over I may have to drive home. "We'll probably end up drinking whiskey waters." I look around the beast of a machine we're occupying, and imagine I'd feel as comfortable operating this monster down pitch dark country roads as I would flying the Millennium Falcon sans copilot. One, I can't fly any sort of ship and two, my particular copilot would be drunk. I'm given little time to think about this, thankfully, before we pull into Coach's driveway. "Be careful," warns Peter. "He's got a big dog that isn't really the petting type." Before he can go on about the dog in question, Chief, a much aged canine of the bear-resemblance breed, lumbers over and questioningly sniffs at my hand. I laugh and Peter gives in: "The game works much better if he doesn't give it away that quickly..." We knock and enter without waiting, finding Coach Waverka and his wife waiting in the living room. Waverka is exactly as I pictured him, a rough type with a partially maintained beard, a large frame, and a dirty t-shirt. The living room is covered in family pictures of him, his wife and his three daughters, and I find it easy to see where Peter fits into the family dynamic as the adoptive son.

Waverka is an unfiltered sort, and immediately begins grilling me on my relationship, as well as regaling Peter's glory days as a young athlete. He holds nothing back, detailing naked bonding moments such as when, while wrapping his leg, Coach was desperately avoiding looking directly at my boyfriend's crotchal region. The duo chug beers as Karen and I listen, occasionally chiming in with a well-aimed barb at one of the two, correcting many a testosterone fueled story that had been far too exaggerated. Coach eventually shows us to his basement, where signed rodeo pictures and numerous riding memorabilia hangs on the walls and ceiling. I discover Coach has a past as a steer wrestler, which is none too surprising since each of his knees resembles a purple pancake. It's actually football that killed his knees, I learn – steer wrestling was his fall back. I hold back criticism, thinking that perhaps if you were that injured, one might look toward a knee friendly career of, perhaps, scuba diving or yoga. I’d heard they needed males in that department... but I had no desire to question the overt macho choices, it being his body and all, and I'm pleased to discover he'd added a Loyola shirt to his collection of sports gear. Typical of these country men, he shows any soft spots in muted ways, his love for Peter apparent only with a place in his own personal collection of trophies. Soon after admiring the basement, we head out with hugs all around. Coach comments with a wink that he can't choose between me and Peter's best female friend, but to send a video of us fighting over him. I can't choose to entirely ignore the comment, but I will let it slide since, as devilish role models go, he's not half bad.

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