A suicidal man remembers his days as a footballer
| The right foot, the one that had been shattered could no longer properly fit into a sneaker. Garrett Pluth sat at the splintered round wooden table in his flat three stories up, watching the news about the latest train bombing on his television.
Good about me not bein’ there, eh? He thought to himself. Forty-year old limpin’ like a nutter away from that mess.
In front of him sat an empty white dinner plate covered in grease, stack of bills, some as old as two months, and a .22 revolver. The remnants of the Scotch eggs he’d had for breakfast littered his wife-beater. He stared at the bills, as he often did during his solo meals, wondering when he might be able to pay them, then dismissing the need.
“If I try and get another job, I’ll just get the fuckin’ chop again.” He said out loud. He pushed himself away from the table and limped over to his refrigerator and poured a pint of Bass for himself. For Garrett, there was no longer such thing as starting too early in the day. The pain in his right foot spiked, and he sat back down at the table and picked up the West Ham team program from the floor. He flipped through the magazine, full of young, bright footballers, the faces of modern football. In a brief fit, he hurled the magazine at the television, which was now playing reruns of Catchphrases.
“Say what you see!” Roy Walker all but yelled at the contestants. Right now, Garrett felt like telling the old bugger, “I see a washed up nob with no future when I look in me mirror!” But Roy likely wouldn’t have listened or cared.
Garrett picked up the gun at the same time every morning and stared into the barrel. There had remained one round inside, one round being all his non-existent income afforded him.
“Besides,” as Garrett told the man at the gun store, “Won’t be needin’ more than one for what I’m usin’ it for, eh mate?”
“I suppose not, sir.” The man replied shifting uncomfortably.
He hadn’t had a proper girlfriend, so he talked to himself in his flat, only to find very often that no one replied back. When he first made the decision to take his own life, he could think of nothing else. But he often wondered what would happen if he fired the shot and didn’t die. He’d have to go to Leeds Memorial.
Hospitals are too depressing, he thought. Not much of a place for a mental that wants to off himself.
While his bills amassed on the table, his apathy became so severe that he didn’t feel much like going through with killing himself. Too many complications.
What if no one finds me body? Garrett thought. Helluva stench that would make for the poor bugger who finds the body. No need to put the paramedics on overtime, either, is there. Pay too many bloody taxes as it is.
“Fuck it,” he said, “Suppose I’ll just go have a nice wank and a nap.”
“Garrett!” The skinny goalie yelled as he ran over from the goal.
“Alright, mate.” Garrett greeted him. The time had reached forty-five minutes at the half.
“Stop lettin’ that bleedin’ striker through, he’s gonna score soon, isn’t he?” The skinny kid, Arthur said, breathing heavily with his hands on his hips.
“What are you gonna do, then, stand there and hope for the best?” Garrett clasped his hands together behind his head and drew in a deep breath. “I’m on my own here mate. When they bring the center through, I’m pickin him up, too. These wankers are slow as turtles. No one else can keep up!”
Three surly men stood on the sidelines, eyeing Garrett.
“Maybe if we break his foot he’ll get the picture and start playin’ some defense, yeah?” one of the men said. He had a baseball bat by his side.
Garrett shrugged the goalie off and walked towards the sidelines.
They’ll notice who’s playin’ fuckin’ defense. He thought. Certainly not the others. Still the best defenseman this mucking grammar school has seen.
Still, he thought to himself that Arthur’s advice had contained a bit of truth, as had his mother’s that he should set aside some study time for his finals. He dismissed both as overbearing nonsense.
He saw the other defensemen, Kyle and Tommy having a laugh by the cooler.
“Oi! You two better start helpin’ me pressure them before this game becomes a fuckin’ disaster!”