Part Eleven August 7, 2016
On call means eat when you can. Food didn’t affect his metabolism but it did make a difference to how he felt. He cut open an avocado and spooned its insides into a blender. He added a tablespoon of hemp seed oil, two scoops of whey protein, a handful of strawberries, and a banana. He learned about nutrition from an unlikely source, a former enemy.
By the time Norm was in Grade Ten Softie didn’t bother him anymore. He was incarcerated for selling psilocybin cum heroin as brown sugar cubes shortly after he and Ms. Grady rescued his mother at the “My Place” warehouse on Devon Street. There was no news on Dr. Caligulass’s whereabouts. Helio Industries was paying for his mother to see a councillor. She was no longer addicted to the brown sugar cubes so the councillor was now encouraging her to slow down or stop her drinking and smoking.
First day of football practice the junior coach took him aside. “I don’t want to go through this enhancement nonsense again Norm, so you’re strictly the quarterback from now on. Throw some passes to Kyle. Not too hard!”
Kyle was still a bit shorter than Norm but over the summer he had put on a lot of muscle. To anyone who didn’t know either of them Kyle would look like the stronger athlete. “Norm,” Kyle said as he jogged over, his voice deeper and more mature sounding. They walked down the field away from the others.
“You remember that fight we had?” Kyle asked.
Norm groaned inside, Kyle thought because he put on a lot of muscle he could now take Norm. “I’m not interested in a repeat,” Norm said.
“Me neither,” Kyle continued. “I just want you to know that I learned a lot from that about how I was treating others, like Tabby. You could have turned around and started picking on me but you didn’t. You just minded your own business. It took a while because bad habits can be hard to break but I forced myself not to be a bully.”
“That’s good,” Norm said.
“One other thing, I want to be a police officer or Mounted Police, so I’ve learned about exercise and nutrition. No sense talking to you about exercise, I’ve never met anyone as strong or fast as you—maybe Levitar but he wears a suit. But, if you want to know about eating let me know. I’m also backup quarterback, so please don’t throw the ball so hard you break my fingers. You almost killed me a couple of times last year.”
“Let’s do short passes,” Norm suggested, “so I can get used to how hard to throw.”
Kyle ran, turned and Norm threw the ball towards Kyle’s waiting hands. Kyle flew through the air and landed with a thump. Norm ran up to him.
“Not so hard,” Kyle said as Norm helped him to his feet.
It took Norm about five passes at different distances to figure out exactly how hard to throw the ball.
As he was throwing the ball Norm thought about Kyle’s offer to explain nutrition to him. He could just look it up on the Internet but the information on the Internet wasn’t always reliable. When they finished practicing he asked Kyle why some foods, like potato chips and chocolate bars made his stomach feel bad. Kyle admitted he was still learning but did explain that junk food couldn’t be absorbed and used like fresh fruit, vegetables, or meats.
“Thanks Kyle,” he said as they separated. Kyle’s comment that Levitar relied on a suit for superpowers made him think of Tabby. His one real friend and his family had moved away at the end of Grade Nine. They lost contact but maybe he could find Tabby on one of the social networks.