After getting positive feedback for "Letters to Tommy", I decided it was worth doing at least one more SLP fic. I plan on making this a combination of two different ideas, and this time I don't have an especially clear plan just where I will go with this. That also means I can't say how much this will tie in to "Letters". For now, here's a scene with Pat, Senior and the kind of crazy that I usually have fun with.
Pat Peoples, Senior shut the door to his study and carefully got out the sports page. He set it down, on top of hundreds of pages of printouts from his friend/ business associate Randall Feinberg. He carefully read the sports page front to back without pause, then read it again, regularly pausing to check something on the printouts. He sighed. He was going to need some help with this.
His wife banged the door and then opened it. "Pat just left for a run," she said. "Just a thought, as long as he's home, you should start talking to him ."
"He'll be fine, Dolores," he said. He thought to himself: Fuckin' fine. For now.
"There's a real world out there, Patricio," his wife said. "Our son has to live in it, even if you didn't. Maybe he would be doing it better if you spent time with him instead of burying yourself in sports statistics." When he did not speak, or show any reaction, she shut the door.
As soon as she was gone, Pat sighed and shook his head. Jeanie had never understood, and never would. She thought he was obsessed with the Eagles because it gave him an escape from reality, from their family. She had said it often, the way she did when she really believed it. She said he was delusional for thinking he could jinx the Eagles, and on top of that, it was like practicing witchcraft. She even said the reason he got bad moods because he cared more about the Birds than his own family.
She would never understand.
He knew the truth. He knew there wasn't some force in the universe that would let the Greatest Team Ever lose just because one fan did the jinx. But he knew that everything in this world was interconnected. It was like the butterfly that flapped its wings in the Amazon and you got a fuckin rainy day. There might be a million fuckin things that mattered, but there was always a chance that one fuckin little thing would make all the difference…
And the difference went both ways.
Jeanie had almost got it there. She had said herself that their worst fights were always after the fuckin' Birds lost, and blamed him and his moods for that. He deserved the blame, he wasn't delusional, but he knew there was another side to it. When he got bad moods after the fuckin Birds fuckin choked, it wasn't just because he cared so much for the Birds. It was because he knew, when the Birds lost, it meant the bad moods were coming. He could try to change it, God knows he had tried, but trying to make things different had only convinced him it was true. He and the Birds were connected, and that was why he loved them. When he jinxed the Birds, he jinxed himself, and not just himself, but his family.
That was why this mattered. Somewhere in here, there was a secret of how to help the Birds, and if he could find it, he could help Junior get better. But to find it, he would need help. God was always on call, but you couldn't really talk to God like you could with a Birds fan. You couldn't talk to dead people, either, because that was witchcraft.
But, you could always talk to Phil Silvers.
"I'm dead too, you know," said Phil. Pat didn't see Phil, or really hear him, he wasn't fuckin crazy, but the voice was there in his head, and it sounded just like old Phil did in Mad, Mad, World. The voice sounded like a weasely gasbag like Phil's guy, too.
You aren't Phil, you're just Phil's voice, Pat thought. He knew "Phil" could hear just fine without him talking aloud, which would upset Jeanie. You're a lying sonuvabitch too, which is why you sound just like Phil, but I need all the help I can get. He began reading through all the papers again, for Phil. Phil was a lying sonuvabitch, but he was sharp, and often Phil would catch on to something before Pat did.
"Well, Pat," said Phil, "I don't see what you called me for. All those numbers just prove what anybody can see: The odds on the next Eagles game are exactly even. There is no advantage or disadvantage in either team that isn't balanced out by another."
Of course, they're even, I know they're fuckin even, Pat thought, but where's the fuckin sign?
"I see, you want to engage in the practice of stichomancy, divination by passages of religious texts or other books of presumed importance," Phil said. "I don't recall hearing of anyone using the sports page before. Well, let's see… If the odds are exactly even, then it means that a good or bad outcome is equally likely. So, it would be logical to infer, assuming the premise, that there is some coming event which will bring either very good or very bad fortune… or perhaps some of both."
All right, Pat thought, leaning in for a closer look, but how do we know if it will be good? How do I make it good?
"To the second question, I should think you can't," Phil said. "To the first, it might be possible to predict the consequences of one event from the known outcome of another. In this case, if the Eagles win, then it would mean that this second, as-yet unknown event will ultimately prove to be positive, while a loss would mean it will be negative."
Of course, Pat thought with a nod. It all made sense. Something is going to happen to Junior that could help him or hurt him. And if I can make good luck for the Birds, I can make good luck for him…
Just then, Jeanie burst in without knocking. "Junior's home, and he has great news! Ronnie and Veronica have invited him over for dinner Sunday! Oh, but we're going to have to get him some new clothes, and I guess he won't be here to watch the Eagles game…"
She was startled and a little afraid when her husband turned around and smiled. "Oh, that will be fine," he said. "Tell him to come up here so I can congratulate him. I think I have an idea what he could wear, too…"
An after note: I wrote a part of this while listening to Passenger's "Feather On the Clyde". For the rest, I laughed. A lot. I think I have a right to.