The Locker Room
BJ opened the locker room door only to be surprised by Old Mickey.
“Still here guy? I forgot my watch.”
The near deaf attendant looked up at the strikingly handsome black man.
“Do what you need to do, son. I’m in a hurry.”
Walking down the cinder block corridor Mickey yelled over his shoulder, “tell Mr. Fitzgerald not to forget to turn off the lights.”
BJ watched him shuffle around the corner and silently closed the metal door.
Making his way to the square cubicle numbered 47, he stepped around scattered metal chairs and damp towels. The strange blend of sweat and aftershave permeated the air. BJ placed his leather bag in the stall and reached for the watch he had carefully hidden on the shelf next to his helmet. Walking towards the training area, the only sound was of the bubbling whirlpool. He stopped before entering the back room to smooth his hair and straighten his silk tie.
The fluorescent lights glared against the stainless steel tables of the semi-sterile training room. Four large tubs lined the far wall but only one as occupied. Scot Fitzgerald leaned his head against the back rim, his body submerged in bubbling steam, eyes closed with music headset in place. BJ pulled a metal chair to the edge of the tank, unbuttoned his double breasted jacket, and sat motionless, watching.
“Jesus, you scared me.” Fitz jerked upright when he finally opened his eyes.
BJ jumped awkwardly off the chair as the blond quarterback slapped the water. “Hey, man, watch the threads.”
“Well, pardon my ass,” Scot dunked beneath the surface, coming up rubbing his eyes.
“How long ya’ been soakin’?”
“’bout long enough. You know how it is when you’re the hero of the hour; reporters, interviews, pictures, endorsements.”
Scot waved his arms grandly. He looked up at BJ and smiled.
“D-backs don’t have all those distractions. You get dressed without microphones in your face, and TV cameras watching you pick your nose, and owner’s asking you over for cocktails.”
“Oh no, you don’t have to go to the old man’s today?”
“Don’t act disappointed Brian James, we’ll have time….”