HOPE CHECK: FLORIDA FOOTBALL

LET'S SEE HOW THOSE EMOTIONS ARE DOING IN THE OFFSEASON FOLLOWING A 4-8 SEASON

Date: February 24th, 2014

Time: 11:46 a.m., EST

Distance from loss to Georgia Southern, upon which all hope evaporated into an all-consuming miasma of catatonic absurdity: 93 days

Hope status:

There is a bald somewhere up in the east Tennessee mountains, a place where when I was young, I fell asleep beneath an old pine tree after a long hike. I don't remember how long the hike was: it could have been four miles, it could have been eight, because the young brain has no idea how far "far" really is. The older mind, weighed with experience and short on energy, has to know how far it's been, and how far it has to go, because it knows just how finite this all is.

When you're young you just fall asleep, and wake up, and never question where you are, or what you have to do. I fell asleep under that tree, into one of those mile-deep slumbers you read about when other people write about what sleep is supposed to be like, a total death with the rebirth of waking. A sleep so deep I could have woken up with seaweed in my hair and a lanternfish in my pocket and thought, "yeah, that makes total sense." The kind of sleep when you wake up and feel wiped clean as a hard drive, and capable of anything--which is how I felt, standing on that hill, waking to the setting sun painting the hills of Tennessee carelessly with glorious, red-orange radiation.

I thought about that, and then remembered this.

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Emotional Status: UTTERLY HOPELESS. Also that place in the mountains has burnt down like a thousand times, and that nap made me late for camp, and I got lost in the woods and cried because I was twelve, and a total fucking idiot who twisted my ankle on the way down to my horrible tent. I slept in my clothes and missed dinner. Fuck napping under trees, that's a great way to get Lyme Disease or robbed by possums.

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