Chapter 14

After three hours of casual discussion and depression, the fertilizers of America's youth had begun to loosen up.

Russ had consumed seventy-eight ounces of Hamm's Premium and several handfuls of salty peanuts. Janice was hopelessly involved in a roundabout duologue that touched on healthcare, sports, international travel and, inevitably, politics. She was passionate and interested, but ultimately unconvincing and unconvinced in what would prove to be an entirely predictable and forgettable and ignorable discourse. If it was ever intended to be such, the conversation was not a suitable response to the question she had earlier posed.

Bojargis and Linda had also each consumed what many would consider an alcoholic's share of alcohol; this measure, of course, is rather subjective.

They had played nine consecutive rounds of 301 on the dartboard, breaking only three tips in the process. This was a regular past-time though an observing darts connoisseur would not think so.

Leaning back on a wall, Bojargis asked Linda if she wanted to dance. "Not tonight" she replied.

Linda had answered similarly each of the past 13 Tuesdays. Bojargis was confident that one day her reply would change but didn't mention it.

Mark and Monica had disappeared just recently. It would be more surprising if the others didn't gossip about where they had gone or what they might be doing there.

"Bojarg," Linda said "how does this game make you feel on the inside?"

"Like a king" Bojargis replied. "I like to think of the darts as my soldiers and each time I throw them it's like I'm sending them into battle. I give them orders to seek out the triple-20s or the bulls' eye and they do the best they can."

"Huh. I had never thought of it that way."

Bojargis wound-up and unleashed a mighty throw that he expected would be the game winner. The dart struck the board with tremendous force and a loud clack rang out. Other bar-goers looked in surprise. The blue and red plastic wafers on the dart board exploded in a confetti-like display. The game was over and the barman would need to call the game supply company so they could come fix what Bojargis had carelessly destroyed.

Linda was not impressed. She did not wonder whether her repeated rejections caused Bojargis to be secretly frustrated and lonely. She finished her Coors Light and tossed her darts on the floor below the dartboard.