Most metropolitan cities in America have hidden abysses like this, Lewis points out, where football can serve as a beacon of light out of such hell. Or can steer you into a different kind of hell. The sport that can save you can also kill you later in life.
Lewis absolutely knows the symptoms will only get worse. Walking back to his Jeep, he turns pale and quiet and concerned.
You have to keep it moving.
So Lewis climbs back in his Jeep and, again, says to follow him. He has to pick up Jazz from school at 3. We stop briefly at his childhood home, redirect north to Buckhead, lose each other in traffic, find each other and pull into another bar at 2:45 p.m.
Lewis steps out and slaps his hands together.
Somebody needs to hit him, he says. Get him right!
And, given that choiceagain that he mentioned, what would he decide? He’d eyeball that Vikings safety taking a 45-degree angle, lower his shoulder and deliver a blow. No stepping out of bounds. No mercy.
Past the Falcons stadium, onto the highway, toward his old neighborhood, the white Jeep accelerates out of vision. Lane to lane, Lewis knifes through heavy traffic and I lose him.
Maybe he forgot where we’re going? Maybe he’s waiting for his brain to recalibrate?
Hard to say. All Lewis said was to follow him.