The Monday morning race debrief ran to schedule as had come to be expected of such meetings. The team might have had a good, solid win but even with a such a win there was mistakes made, slip ups done, things forgotten and things that could be done better. It was during the debrief those things were discussed, suggestions made so they didn’t happen again and solutions offered to keep the team moving forward. It wasn’t often, even if the team had a bad weekend, that such meetings turned into a shit fight of arguing and yelling because the team knew what was expected of them.

In Danny’s mind the team debrief was a good wind down, a chance to sit down and reflect at the weekend’s racing, hear the ideas of others and throw his own forward. On weekend were he’d made mistakes on the track that had cost them the race or even a podium finish he often felt like they were judging him and at times treating him harshly. Sometimes he even felt like their stares were questioning his ability as a driver, almost like they could do better themselves. It was the silent accusations that often festered in his thoughts, the thoughts he carried around all to often and only let escape as misguided anger, often at something completely unrelated.

Thankfully for Danny in the two races of the new season that hadn’t happened, he’d made mistakes, little slip ups on the track, but so had everyone and those little accusing stares hadn’t seemed as bad. As the season dragged on he was sure the pressure and the tension would change such things but at such a early point in the year it was good to have so little pressure, he just had to work on not letting things get to him the way they had in the past.

The debrief broke up a few minutes after 10am at which point nearly every person in the room made a bee line for the coffee room, the exception being Dave who went straight to his office and Rick and Danny who waited for the crowd to leave.

“Wanna have the chat now mate?” Rick asked as the people dispersed. “Or is it too early for your smoko?”

“Nah mate smoko can never be had too early, or too often!” Danny said with a smile. “My office in five?”

“No worries.” Rick answered

The two of them headed for the door but before they got there they ran into Lisa, one of the publicists for the team.

“Danny I’m glad I caught you, I’ve got three interviews lined up for you in the media wing this afternoon.”

Rick told Danny he’d catch him in five while Danny stopped to talk to Lisa.

“Can’t do Lisa, sorry. I’m leaving at two this afternoon.” Danny replied.

“But we can’t reschedule at such short notice.”

Danny knew the drill, Lisa didn’t immediately put the journalists on a pedestal because she believed their job was more important than others around her, she did it because her job was important to her and sucking up to the media hacks that thought they deserved it was part of her job. Danny politely told Lisa that Dave had approved his early mark and that he was happy to have the interviews rescheduled for earlier or the follow day. It was a lie of course, Danny didn’t want to do the interviews at all, but he understood they were required in his line of work.

After several minutes of discussion, discussion where Lisa played the role of PR well and tried to make Danny feel like she was actually on his side, the two of them had agreed that the interviews would be rescheduled. Lisa left Danny telling him she’d email him with the new times and schedules as soon as she had them. Danny agreed and headed to the brew room to make coffee before heading to his office.

“What’s up buddy?” Rick said as he walked into Danny’s office with his own coffee that he’d obviously poured from the workshop coffee machine rather than the brew room where Danny was only minutes before.

“Not much, guess I was just looking for someone to bounce some words off.” Danny replied offering Rick a seat.

“What sort of words?”

“Tracey wants me to go to therapy with her this afternoon.” Danny’s voice was calm, it wasn’t like he hadn’t had such discussion with Rick before, they’d been mates for many years, they often spoke about their relationships, maybe not in the same way females did, he wasn’t sure, but they did talk.

“And you don’t want to?” Rick asked.

“It’s not that I don’t, I do, but at the same time you know what therapist are like, always looking for fault in someone.”

“Are you worried they’ll point the finger at you?”

“Wouldn’t you be, if you were in my position?” Danny asked. It was a bit different in solo therapy sessions, blame could be thrown anywhere as a deflection, even if the therapist didn’t agree with it, but Danny thought his suspicions about where Tracey’s therapist would lay the blame was justified, it was after all her therapist.

“Mate, I really don’t know, I’ve never been to therapy. But surely a decent quack knows better than to just blame one party in these situations.”

“Maybe.” Danny replied.

Danny and Rick spoke for nearly half an hour, Rick tried to support his friend without trying to sound like he was being demanding, whilst Danny looked tired and worn out from the discussion. Rick’s thoughts where that couple therapy might actually do Danny some good but he knew from experience that Danny needed to reach that decision himself, telling Danny to do something like therapy rarely worked.

Rick knew Danny still had feelings for his wife and he played on those feelings during his conversation but it wasn’t until he spoke the words, “Do it for yourself.”, that Danny’s demeanour changed enough that he decided he would go to the therapy session his wife had organised.

Previous Racing story here.