Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"The Eighty-yard Run." Irwin Shaw.

Review: 15 years ago, Christian Darling caught a pass in practice and ran for 80 yards after the catch. He was twenty-years old and he felt as if he could do anything. His girl friend Louise kissed him, worshipped him, told him how handsome he was. They married. That eighty-yard run had been the highlight of his life. After that, the decline and Louise began to move up through an arty society, a society Christian could not manage. The roles reversed. Now he longed for her. She treated him as a hopeless ninny. “A star is born.”

Quote: “Darling half-closed his eyes, almost saw the boy fifteen years ago reach for the pass, slip the halfback, go skittering lightly down the field, his knees high and fast and graceful, smiling to himself because he knew he was going to get past the safety man. That was the high point, Darling thought, fifteen years ago, on an autumn afternoon, twenty years old and far from death, with the air coming easily into his lungs, and a deep feeling inside him that he could do anything, knock over anybody, outrun whatever had to be outrun. And the shower after and the three glasses of water and the cool night air on his damp head and Louise sitting hatless in the open car with a smile and the first kiss she ever really meant. The high point, an eighty-yard run in the practice, and a girl’s kiss and everything after that a decline.”

Comment: Everyone has his eighty-yard run. RayS.

Short Story Masterpieces. Ed. RP Warren and A. Erskine. New York: Dell Books. 1954.

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