Point of View: ’Roid Rave

It was a good day for him and a good day for me

   I care not what others may say, I love steroids. Some were shot into me — my left shoulder — the other day, and the day after that I felt 20 years younger. And Henry, who got a contact high, had a spring in his step too.
    I celebrated by running two laps around Herrick Park while Henry, chained to a soccer goal post, barked encouragement. It was a good day for him and a good day for me. My fingers fairly tripped along over the laptop keys, the sun was shining, the air was fresh, and the pangs of a grievous error I’d committed the week before, in which I’d implied someone long dead was alive, had begun to fade into the “things to be less and less painfully remembered” folder of my brain.
    When asked by Mary recently what I wanted for Christmas, I replied, “A new shoulder — I think they’re having a sale.”
    But if these steroids work, maybe I won’t have to get one. I told her that in the alternative she could get me the Shakespeare plays I’d ordered, the final nine or so I have yet to read. I have been collecting the paperback Folger series. They have notes and clue you in as to what’s coming up, and, even more important, they fit in my office bookshelf. Very colorful too, as if to say, this is no ordinary weekly journalist, this is a man of substance . . . of substance abuse, in fact. A steroid user and proud of it.
    Further on the subject of Shakespeare, when I told a fellow who’s embarked on the same project as I that I didn’t find the comedies very funny, he said not to worry, that the tragedies were.
    Jack Gilbert, the poet, who died recently — I happen to know because I read it in The New York Times — says we become too intelligent as we age. That our strength (what we have hoarded) deprives us, that we become moderate.
    So just shoot me up.
    When I told Tim at the club that my doctor had said I couldn’t play tennis this week, he said, “He probably thought it was unfair to the others that you’re on performance enhancing drugs.”
    “I bet I would have won 30 games.”
    “See you on January 3rd.”    
    “On the 3rd. . . . I hope they haven’t worn off by then.”