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quickdfr.com: At Cowboy camp, just call me the wanderer


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Puke reporter confessions. He never attends practices. Too bad.



California once again.

I am with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, Calif.

When you cover the Dallas Cowboys the way I do, you rarely go to practice and you watch movies in your hotel room all day. The kind of movies in which you can see the STDs entering new bloodstreams.

Then, when you get tired of that, you go down to the beach and kill a seagull for dinner and revenge. Then you cook him on a hot plate in a fast food restroom until you send a kid screaming to his mother when he sees the bird isn't fully dead yet.

When your belly is warm and full, you look for change on sandy sidewalks and mumble words to songs you've forgotten as strangers avert their eyes and tack away from you. Then you pass out on the beach as the wine overtakes you, sinking in the thoughts of how an old girlfriend's makeup smelled the first time you kissed her.

You wake up when the indigent with the stick pokes your sunburned side and you go bathe in the surf, hoping it's your own urine you're washing off. Then you go to the hotel bar and have a new drink, the best of the day, and think about the Cowboys for a few moments because it feels like work. Then you smile at the waitress, and she doesn't smile back.

I do the same thing every year, and the only thing that changes is my age.

Why can't I break out of this rut? I know there are other things to do down in LA, but apparently none of them appeal to me enough to jump the tracks. I could go see a movie. I could wander the Hollywood Hills. I could just walk in that pleasant night air off the Sunset Strip, meditating on the faces and smiling at the scruffy saints, but I don't.

Instead, I go into my hotel room and flip on the fluorescent light in the bathroom. There, in the sick glow, I look at my enemy. Then I go buy him a drink.

There are some lives I'm glad I avoided at the last moment.

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