Greg Chase is a full-time PhD student and part-time writer. His work has appeared in Mouse Tales Press, Yale Daily News Magazine, and Yale Undergraduate Magazine. His favorite writers include Faulkner, Wharton, and Eggers.
He lives in Boston, MA.
You don’t know, as you watch the football soar over your head, that eight years from now your favorite team will win the Super Bowl and you will not even watch the game, because you will be a freshman in college at that point, and you will be busy doing your Genetics homework in the library with the girl you like, who does not care about sports despite her uncle’s having once played six games for a minor league baseball team. You don’t know, as the football descends into the waiting arms of Phil Saunders, whom you were supposedly covering, that tomorrow your father will invite you to spend your spring break on a cruise with him in the Caribbean, and that his new wife won’t be coming along, it will just be the two of you. You don’t know, as Phil runs the final few yards past the dead apple tree that marks the beginning of the end zone and spikes the football in triumph, that when Phil is a senior in high school he will have a dream in which God speaks to him, and that he will renounce recreational sports, move to Botswana to work for a Christian charity, and never be heard from again. You don’t know, as Tim Stetson runs down the field with his arms raised above his head and both index fingers pointing heavenward in celebration of having thrown the winning touchdown, that Tim is already starting to question his sexuality, and that by the time he is in high school he will use his obvious athletic prowess not for throwing footballs but for doing pirouettes in the school dance recital. You don’t know, as your teammates glare at you and Ben O’Grady mutters, “Great coverage, as usual,” that next month a new student will transfer into your school, and that you and he will bond over model airplanes and Magic cards, and years later you will name your first son after him. You don’t know, as your classmates file off the field in groups of twos and threes, the winners grinning at one another and already exaggerating their exploits in the game, the losers staring sullenly at the ground, that when you are an old man who spends his days pruning junipers and reading mystery novels, you will look back on your life and recall things like watching the sun set on a crisp fall day with your arm around your wife, laughing uncontrollably while falling off a sled, receiving kind e-mails from students you taught years ago, pumping your fist in unabashed joy when your daughter sticks the landing at a gymnastics meet—but you will not recall the football rocking back and forth on the ground as if taunting you, nor the pain in your knee from when you tripped on a blitz, nor the wind blowing in your ears as you stand on the field alone.