Short- Sidelines

NOTE: This is another piece I found while I was searching through my old hard drive. This piece was written possibly in my freshman year of college and I wanted it to be a social commentary on how certain men choose sports to play a more important role in their lives than actual human relationships. Personally, I think this piece is rubbish, but I still get a kick out of reading my old writing.

FADE IN

INT. SIDELINES SPORTS BAR- EVENING

Countless television sets line every noticeable wall inside Sidelines Sports Bar. The walls are decorated with various sports memorabilia but it’s all barely visible under the dim lights, the entire establishment looks like the most depressing TGI Fridays ever concocted. The sound of various sports events and sports related talk shows are floating throughout the establishment. The bar almost has a light orange glow hovering above the patrons, like looking at the night sky in the city.

The only patrons inside are an eclectic assortment of grizzled regulars and old timers looking for the companionship of fellow alcoholics. At a table in the furthest corner of Sidelines sits two men, Marco and Julian, both are athletic twenty something frat boy types. Marco is tall and slender resembling a backup center for a minor league basketball team. Julian is bulky and overall terrifying, his face is stern, and his eyes are tired.

MARCO:

The Brewers lost again last night.

JULIAN:

Of course they did, how many is that now?

MARCO:

Nine straight.

JULIAN:

Jesus Christ.

MARCO:

Yep, it’s a sad day. Just think, about a month ago they were in a position for a playoff spot.

JULIAN:

Don’t remind me.

MARCO:

Really gets you ready for basketball season huh?

JULIAN:

I’m beginning to think you like it when I kick your ass.

MARCO:

Hey, I’m just as upset as you are.

JULIAN:

Are you though?

MARCO:

Oh sure, I just cope differently than you.

JULIAN:

How so?

MARCO:

Well, I like to heal my wounds with some good natured jokes, and you like to drink yourself into a coma.

JULIAN:

Your point?

MARCO:

No point, I only mention it as a curious party.

JULIAN:

Is this your way of telling me I drink too much?

MARCO:

Not necessarily, this is just me mentioning that The Brewers lost again last night. You can process that information however you see fit.

JULIAN:

But why did you have bring The Bucks into this conversation? You know how I feel about them.

MARCO:

You’re right, that was a cheap shot and I apologize, but seriously though, what about The Bucks?

JULIAN:

I swear to God…

Before Julian can finish his sentence the waitress approaches their table.

WAITRESS:

Can I get you boys anything else?

MARCO:

Well, I’d love another whiskey, and you may as well leave the whole bottle for this guy here, he’s not having such a great day.

WAITRESS:

Oh that’s a shame, is there anything I can do to help?

MARCO:

Not unless you know any good pitchers.

WAITRESS:

What?

MARCO:

What do you think Jules, you think this girl can win The Brewers a pennant?

Without saying a word, Julian glances out of the corner of his eyes at the waitress, scoffs, and looks away.

WAITRESS:

Were you boys talking about The Brewers?

MARCO:

Why yes we were, that’s very perceptive of you.

WAITRESS:

Yeah, someone was saying they weren’t doing too good, that’s a real shame.

JULIAN:

Keep walking.

WAITRESS:

Excuse me?

Julian turns his head and peers into the waitresses’ eyes with a look of indescribable intensity while Marco attempts to stifle his laughter.

JULIAN:

Keep walking, you can’t handle this conversation.

The waitress gets offended and stomps away in a rage. Marco yells after her with a hysterical grin on his face.

MARCO:

Wait! Can I get my drink?!  That’s a real shame man, you probably could’ve gotten that girl’s number.

JULIAN:

Who cares? Women like that only act flirtatious as a means of getting bigger tips. Deception takes many forms.

MARCO:

You’re just bitter about The Brewers.

JULIAN:

I am indeed upset regarding their current position, but that has nothing to do with my distaste of professional flirtation. The two topics exist separately yet simultaneously.

MARCO: So you’re telling me you would’ve reacted the exact same way if The Brewers were still number one?

JULIAN:

Absolutely.

MARCO:

You are such a liar.

JULIAN:

How so?

MARCO:

You don’t care that she was flirting with us. You only care about The Brewers because that’s all you’ve talked about tonight. The success or failure of whatever sports team that’s currently relevant determines your mood for the given season until we move on to the next sport. Your emotions are circumstantial and dependent upon an issue that ultimately has nothing to do with you.

JULIAN:

You act like I should apologize for being a fan. You need to take a look around, the person you described, also describes everyone in this bar and the majority fans around the world. Have you ever seen a soccer riot? That shit gets real quick. So don’t you dare single me out for doing something that’s occurring across the globe.

MARCO:

Just because it’s prolific doesn’t mean it’s rational.

JULIAN:

Life’s not rational.

MARCO:

Fair enough, but this is something that you have control over. Think about this, what if you got that girl’s number? And what if the two of you went on a date and had an amazing time and then this occurred for years until you decided to settle down? You could very well be missing the opportunity of a lifetime simply because The Brewers always play like shit. You are consciously choosing to be miserable for eternity.

JULIAN:

That’s absurd. You can’t introduce these grandiose hypotheticals into a conversation founded on facts. There’s no logic in your argument. The Brewers are playing poorly, I’m upset by this fact, and that’s all that we can deduce from the provided variables, A plus B equals C.

MARCO:

How was your last relationship?

JULIAN:

What?

MARCO:

Your last relationship, the one with Karen, how was it?

JULIAN:

Normal I suppose. How is any of this relevant?

MARCO:

Because from what I remember, she dumped you, or am I getting that wrong?

JULIAN:

You’re wrong.

MARCO:

How so?

JULAIN:

It was mutual. We weren’t happy so we ended things, that’s all there is to it.

MARCO:

You sure about that? Because word on the street she left you because you weren’t very receptive, some people even said the two of you were going to couples therapy, but I don’t know if I necessarily believe that part.

JULIAN:

We may or may not have a attended a few sessions to better our relationship.

MARCO: And how did that work out?

JULIAN:

We broke up after three sessions.

MARCO:

And what exactly did you two talk about in these sessions?

Julian hesitates before responding. He plays with his drink glass for a few seconds while staring emotionlessly at the table.

JULIAN:

According to her, I didn’t give her enough attention.

MARCO:

Fascinating, and at any point did she mention something about you having a problem with sports?

JULIAN:

It may have come up.

MARCO:

A plus B equals one failed relationship.

JULIAN:

Alright, since you seem to be the resident love expert, tell me about your last relationship, the one with Melissa.

MARCO:

Not much to tell.

JULIAN:

There’s always something to tell.

MARCO:

We mostly spent our days copulating and listening to House music.

JULIAN:

Well at least she had a terrible taste in music.

MARCO:

She doesn’t count.

JULIAN:

And why not?

MARCO:

Because that wasn’t a real relationship. She wasn’t my girlfriend and we didn’t break up because I wasn’t there for her. We got bored and stopped seeing each other, simple as that.

JULIAN:

Why do I have the feeling that the majority of your relationships have been this way?

MARCO:

They may or may not have followed a pattern similar to this.

JULIAN:

So essentially, you’re judging me on a topic that you know nothing about. Shall I call my brother? He’s a mechanic, maybe you’d like to tell him how to fix a car.

MARCO:

I don’t need to be in a relationship to see that you’re being held back by your love affair with professional sports.

JULIAN:

Held back?

MARCO:

Yes, held back.

JULIAN:

I’ll show you held back.

Julian stands up at the table and walks over to the bar. The waitress is behind the counter cleaning a glass with a white rag. Julian approaches her and starts talking.

JULIAN:

Hey.

WAITRESS:

(Timidly smiles back)

JULIAN:

Listen, I’m sorry about before, I didn’t mean to yell at you. Shit gets stressful in my life this time of year and I have no idea how to deal with these emotions so I come to places like this and talk to people like my idiot friend over there in hopes of momentarily forgetting that my life sucks. You look like an awesome girl and you don’t deserve to be treated like that.

Julian starts to walk back to the table.

WAITRESS:

Hey hold on a second.

Julian turns around. The waitress grabs his hand and holds a pen in her other hand. She writes her phone number on his palm.

WAITRESS:

Just in case you ever need someone to talk to.

They both smile at each other and Julian returns to the table while she returns to cleaning the glasses. Julian sits at the table with Marco with a look of bewilderment.

MARCO:

You ready to talk about The Bucks now?

FADE OUT

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