"The Pitcher"
I saw this pitcher once walk to the mound. A light rain was falling on the diamond. The crowd sporting umbrellas and pop corn that in spite of the rain stayed dry. Encouraged calls came from the dug out and beyond. Twilight was fading in with the public address system. "Attention the patron with liscence plate 3DSPCE, your lights are on", rang as the pitcher made pride to the mound. The public address cracked. Why I don't know. Maybe the rain. Maybe the age. Maybe a compitent operator hoping to make sounds that create depth and substance beyond glitter and glamor of a big league, hollywoodesq production. These players including the pitcher, who in between making pride leaked pain and glory, are amateurs, minors. The men that never get called up. Never get called up to the big office and given the ticket for the city of lights.
"Let's go Harlem", a woman wearing a white dress, with large black poko dots to go with dark, dark black hair said and clapped and smoked a cigarette all at the same time. Her purse, her white purse with golden buckles lay beside her half opened like the top of her dress. The contents revealing, the contents of her purse revealing cigarettes a lighter and a postcard from france dated November 11, 1952.
Dearest GingerAle of the starlit country I thought of you yesterday this morning And this after noon smells of your hair and clothes haunt my room taste of your lips dictate my speech burns of your american cigarretes tease my soul memories of our time move my lost mind to journeys last dance of the stars and the moon's howl at midnight over the Aegean to be free from the pull of your core our time is destiny our moment etched forever
Was all of the poorly written poerty we could read from the carelessly (or maybe purposely, we don't know these things only the gods do when they have the interest to watch) open purse of the unsuspecting woman, we assume is Gingerale. "Gingerale, Gingerale", a woman's voice called out with a french accent. Gingerale, who we now know is Gingerale, who also happens to be wearing sunglasses turned around. "Gingerale, Gingerale, I left the lights on in the autocarriage", the woman with the body of an hourglass counting springs innocent fluctuations of motivation unknowingly, said in a french accent with the most beautiful of real scarlet lips exposed by her tethered back, brown hair that hung almost carelessly in a pony's tail.
"Oh heaven's Aliace, why in all the cosmos did you do that", Gingerale said. The natural lighting of the victorious day now only a distant memory as the ball park illuminated and the giant moths threatened to take over except for their insane attraction to the lights. "I don't know, I don't know, I simply forgot about the lights", Aliace said making herself comfortable and letting go of her black and white hand bag with a dot matrix of a man and woman in there youth sharing a sonic cigarrette and sitting down beside Gingerale.
The pitcher is now on the mound well lit by the diamonds shine. The smell of the park, the smell of the park for those interested and those who are not may as well skip a few lines or close the book entirely, because the smell, the smell is what brings the readers to places like this. Places a little difficult than most places to find. Imagine the smell of crushed peanuts on cracked concrete a little damp. Fresh grass, real grass not astro turf, whatever that was, with a little bit of dew, not morning dew but evening dew or the after effects of a light rain not a soaking just a moisture and those moths threatening but never drawing from the large lights. And the smell of bodies, people from lawyers, bankers, to construction workers, house wives and working women.
There was a buzz in the crowd. A warm hum of conversation. Today the visiting Hawks were playing the hometown team Ravens. The Ravens hadn't been contenders for years, eons, decades but the crowd still came. The crowd always came rain, shine and the rare snow storm. The blizzard of 44 they called it. The Ravens beat the favoured Blood Hounds in an early blizzard in the month of October. Randy the catcher Wallace hit one out the park in the bottom of the ninth to bring the home team to their feet and home to their wood stoves. They still talk about it, the crowd, the city. The city, well the city is called Rhea. It's like most cities with your good parts and bad parts. The ball park borders on the good and the bad so as not to exclude anyone from attending and being a part. There's the occasional scuffle but the west side usually stays on their turf and the eastside throw their calls from their side. The cops they hang around and watch the game but no one really knows what side they're on. They remain neutral that barrier between two competing forces. When one side gets too rowdy or steps out of line the coppers are there to pull em or push them back in line. The freedom is watching, watching change unfold. The cops they're just players too playing a game. There's good cops and bad cops, depending on what side your on the easterns, the westerns. Now Clint he was a good cop, he sided with no body but that's another story.
The pithcer let go of some fresh chew on the green, green grass illumated by the candescent lights of the park and parked and unparked the baseball in his leather mit. Tony the Tiger Smith was warming up in the batters den doing the normal things hitters do and the things normal people don't. Tony in all his big city hopes and dreams was doing things with the bat, swinging, swaying, teetering and praying. Not that normal people don't pray its just the manner he was doing it. If found in a church or on the street this man would be accused of extremism and maybe shuned by the normals. Fortunate for Tony this was not a church or the street so he was safe to swing and sway on his beliefs. The catcher pulled up his socks and motioned to the pitcher for some throws.
The stadium was in need of a good renovation and clean up. The field was clean, equal and level. The players play because they love to play. The observants watched because they love to watch the game. The observants made themselves comfortable in the stands. The high price tickets are closer to the field while the lower priced tickets made there way to the back. The further back you go the more remnants of games gone by are found, ticket stubs, popcorn bags, soda pop bottles and hot dog boxes, among other more rarities.
Among the rarities kicking around the feet of the spectators was a note to someone from someone else and this is what may have been read.
"In the event of my demise these are my thoughts, dreams and wishes. The stars burned bright hopefully, the moon sullen like something was stolen and things yet to happen. I starred forth into to light spoke my thougths only the truth that which I knew and still hold sacred. Time on earth finite. Dreams of the beyond infinite. The relationship corelated and unrehearsed. If this scares you it turns me in wake and death. My belief being spoken from the heart and such truths only condeming if they are not so."
This was all we could read and at such a distance we consider ourselves lucky. Whose words these were we do not know. Why they were writen we still have no idea but there is a baseball game going on with many an interesting character some of whom we have already met. Lets get back to what we know. "Harlem looks really good tonight", Gingerale said looking through her looking glass spectacles. "Oh he does", Aliace said focusing on her little mirror and powder. Aliace was always ever so concerned with her look and features as beautiful as she is.
Harlem the pitcher was in his tenth year. Yes ten years in the minors and no call up. He was what you call a veteran of the minor leagues. Ten years and no call up probably meant he would retire in the minors. The Ravens manager called his name for this one. Not the flashiest or the quickest but the steadiest hand they had.
The Ravens had not been contenders for years.....Past tense.(though the author makes terrible sense of tenses this one is important because in the present tense the Ravens are competing for a penent. This game crucial for playoff birth and so much needed pride for the city and organization) That being said they called Harlem to pitch a winning game.
Harlem wizzed one over the plate. STRIKE! Tony the Tiger smith did not swing as he thought otherwise, gave the ump a look and spit the other way. Harlem curved another one hoping to catch Tony swinging. Tony held his bat as the ball went inside. BALL! Tony winked at Harlem who he barely knew himself being a rookie and all. Harlem wipped another ball outside hoping to bait the green wood of Tony. Tony eyed it and decided otherwise. BALL! Tony smiled at Harlem who stood expressionless. Harlem decided to give him something and threw some heat. STRIKE! The call came before Tony could decide if he was going to swing or not. Unfazed by the pitch Tony motioned some swings in preparation of his fate. Harlem let go something different and Tony decided to swing for it. CRACK! Tony made contact and felt succesful as he headed for first. The ball was a grounder caught by the short stop Tiny who threw Tony out at first.
"Nice up Harlem, nice up", Juno said. "Do you feel like someone is watching us?", Super Nova asked. Juno looked around her hair bouncing to and fro like a bunny on saint patricks day then stopped to see a man in his early thirtees wearing worn out blue sunglasses, that looked like he had cried a thousand tears thinking about things no one would ever know. Startled by Juno's glance the man in dirty blues looked left and reached for his pop corn unsuspectantly. "Well now that you mention it Super Nova I do feel some strange eyes about", Juno said. "I knew it wasn't just me. I've got this sense when I'm being watched. It's not an unpleasant sense, just a sense none the less", Super Nova said her eyes passionate and calm like a virgin sunset on a sweet sixteen birthday. "Soda, Pop Corn, Hot dogs, Cotton Candy", the park vendor chanted walking the stairs and working the crowd. "Are you hungry Super Nova", Juno asked her eyes with intention. "Well I did miss supper", Super Nova said her eyes as large as the full moon of the wild county. "Mr., Mr.", Juno said getting the vendors attention. "Well yes mademoiselle, i'm here for you as you know and there are many things available. How may I satisfy you tonight. Juno looked at Super Nova wondering where this boy was coming from. Super Nova looked expression full and hesitant with intent, eyes moving innocently and half smiled. "Blue cotton candy?", Super Nova suggested. The boy vendor reached down and picked a stick of blue cotton candy and handed it to Super Nova. Super Nova said nothing reaching out for the cotton candy her eyes seemed to learn with loose focus on the man. Juno reached in her open purse for a five cent piece and handed it to the vendor. The vendor pocketed the five piece momentarily was taken back by the beauty of the women sitting in area 51 and wondered what just happened. "Peanuts, pop corn, chili dogs", he echoed across the stands. Juno looked at Super Nova smiled and curled her nose like a happy bunny very content. Super Nova moved in on the coton candy with her wet wet lips. "WOULD MOLLY JOHNSON PLEASE COME TO THE BROADCAST TABLE, MOLLY JOHSON PLEASE COME TO THE BROADCAST TABLE", the public address system echoed still cracking like an A.M. radio.
The tragic moths making their prescence ever felt sounded accousticly unwanted but stayed despite what everyone else thought except for the author who found their company displaced a lonely soul with the thought of a memory's afterglow. Wishing the author could erase the last line, and let everyone know who may or may not be concerned, that the author lies in bliss at the sound of Chopin.
The game continues even though we get perplexed with our own affairs....thanking the gods who may be watching that intstant messaging has not yet been invented. The spectators, intent on the game as their own thought play out in a psycho social endeavor of east and west. Wearing clothing of many colors, blue, red, silver and gold. The spectators are as important to the game as the game they watch.
A dull ooooh and ah from the crowd sudgests a big play from the diamond where we must now turn our attention. Big John Davis hits one out of the park echoing memories of the spirits and ghosts of glories past. The home team now in the lead by 1 some where in the 2nd. I think......, no scratch that thought I BELIEVE.
Little Joe Horton steals a base before anyone can take notice and threatens for third before Harlem eyes him down. Little Joe Horton taunting Harlem takes one step further for third. Harlem eyeing an out turns to home with intent to sell one across the plate begs Little Joe Horton for a run to third. Harlem turns to throw one piece of spit to second as Little Joe Horton was on his way to third. Now in a squeeze between second and third, Little Joe Horton makes and tries to make up his mind which way to go as his options become increasingly scarce. Giving himself a shake he turns back for second and slides. Juno raises to her feet and tipping on her toes to see the call.....OUT! A little excited she turns to and here, revealing her intentions and bodily apparitions of an hour glass figure that never runs out ot time.
Red faced and pumped with intention the blood hounds manager heads for the umpire chest pumping challenging the call. In a matter of dance and anger the umpire and manager plead their cases in an exibtition you would see in a silent comedy. That being said because the spectators have no idea what they are saying. A little scathed the Blood Hounds manager heads back to the dug out with the call still in tack and his mind a little blown.
Aliace....Gingerale called. Aliace and Gingerale being in the cheap seats the ones near the back of the stadium had to remove their lady like brass and worn opera glasses. "Harlem let the Blood Hounds have it down on second". This being a big game for the home town Ravens the play brought the crowd to their feet. Obscuring the view of the lesser paid and somewhat more enthusiastic back benchers, including Gingerale and Aliace.
In her excitement of the play and the moment Gingerale dropped her white purse with golden buckles to the floor beside her feet. Revealing the contents including the post card from france. Excuse moi Mademoiselle came a man's voice. Stunned and caught off guard Gingerale turned to see a man in a top hat with a moustache, yes she breathed a little taken. Attempting to understand french even though her french was very good in france she asked the man to speak a little English so we could all understand what this mysterious gentleman was talking about.
My name is Enrique you dropped your purse and you are very beautiful the man spoke in a French accent. A little embarassed she blushed from cheek to cheek. Hoping no one would notice she powdered her nose and checked both sides with her little mirror.
Would you like a cigarette Enrique offered the woman who he thought he met in a dream of blue and red in a opera between heaven and hell.(for those who believe in such places, for those who don't try to think of a paradox a yin to a yang for the eastern minds and the place cowboys come to pray and cowgirls cry, for you westerns). The dream was a surreal painting of Dalis hand who lived in New York during the fiftees and had a great many converstions with Ginsberg about time, love and the reality of first impressions.
Stunned and tongue tied Gingerale offered a smile and turned down the offer. Like a piano falling from the void above you could see Enrique's heart crush. Enrique put his cigarettes away and sat down. "Who was that man", Aliace questioned Gingerale. "Enrique, a french man with cigarettes", Gingerale replied. The writer that being me the one who's ideas we are all reading is in a little bit of shock and feels bad for Enrique's dream but he will live and learn to smile again, I hope. Enrique stood and walked out of the park gave the writer the finger and went to hang himself.
Looking down on the park and the writer Enrique aligned the stars told Gingerale his love will not die in death and lives beyond the grave as his ghost and cigarettes now haunt the park.
The moon high and tucked in the clouds smiled down on the park. Sparky the public address announcer who had no day job and was little paid for his comments was rumored to be an alcoholic. The lense and perspective of the story now in his way of the game looked the other way as he took another sip and paid no attention to the rumors. Radio nowhere as the out of towners liked to call the Raven's nest, the place the calls came from and no one ever answered back. Sometimes Sparky thought he was the only one in the park next to the players and some times he was.
This being a big game especially for Sparky, wore in his best clothes and sober as sober Sparky got, called the score; "ONE NOTHING RAVENS OVER THE VISITING BLOOD HOUNDS." Sparky being quite proud of his address muted the public address and took a private drink from his silver flask, dating from World War One where Sparky was a private, lost a limb and nearly his rank.Sparky held his position and flask in high honor being a hero of war and all. But thats another story and if anyone has anything to convalude the statements of hero and wars can ask their grandparents or their parents grandparents. You could ask Sparky but he's busy and occupied with his night job and memory.
While Sparky spent silent revalries of days gone by, Buddy the organ player who had side gig in a jazz band smoked a little and laid some beats and riffs off the organ during stretches and between innings. Being Young and Black he barely paid his bills and sat in the back of the bus when the team went south. When the team went North he sat where ever he god damn pleased, barely paid his bills and was friendly with the ladies, (rumored to be many).
The lights glare of the park and the shine of the dew on the green grass. Sent the park to a surreal plain with surreal figures all hoping to see their team win. Home field advantage and home cooking. The umps called 'em how they saw them. But a bump in the field playing to the homes teams advantage never stopped the rule of the runner from making it home safely. Joni the home plate ump called them high and away, low and out.
Harlem had the savy of ten plus years and junk to chunk at the plate. Ten years in the minors and no call ups. Times like this you wonder how well Joni knew Harlem and if Harlem really cared. Eye to eye you could call it. Rudie the centre fielder let go some chew and Harlem let another go between the strike zone. Clean, clean as Joni could call, "OUT".
The crowd responded but Harlem didn't hear. The zone they call it. Harlem was is it. No one knew. It was too early in the game but Harlem knew it. He'd seen it before. Seen the zone. Player's look for it but you can't find it you need to make it. Veteran's ups and downs. In the heat out of the heat. Writers write about the zone in the papers but that's after the game after the victory and celebration. Harlem was in the zone maybe his last and he knew it.
History they call it. Harlem has a lot of that. Seen a lot of games, a lot of batters. He knew their tendencies and what made them awkward. Keep the control. Keep the ball in his mit and past home. See the pitch before he threw it. That was the past and Harlem paid no attention. No attention to the past or the future just the moment and the zone was his. Pressure a lot of pressure. The crowd relaxed a bit. Harlem cleared another inning. Kept his shoulder warm, his arm loose and mind focused.
Do you smell cigarrettes? Aliace asked Gingerale. Gingerale smelled the air. Yes now that you mention it. Both Gingerale and Alliace scanned the crowd but could see no one smoking. American I beliveve Gingerale said. Gingerale and Aliace being of the living had no idea. But we as readers know who was smoking. Don't we?
Here I stand and face the rain. Were the thoughts thought by the Man smoking american cigarrettes from the void beyond breath, touch and taste. Gingerale felt a small rain drop touch her left cheek. She looked up to see a clear sky, the moon full. A howl came over the crowd as the ravens maskot drunk on euphoria danced naked to the heavens beneath the never more of his costume.
Buddy laid some time on the keys while the teams changed ups and downs. "I need to stretch my legs", Juno said to Super Nova. Super Nova looked to Juno and offered to come with her. "Where are we going", Super Nova asked Juno. "To the upper deck. I've got something on my mind. The man with worn blue sunglasses watched the ladies carefully not to go noticed and held memory to chest as Kenny Rogers went up to bat for the Ravens. She believes in me Kenny said quietly as he made his way to the diamond.
No boots or hearts......buckets of rain......Kenny Chanted hoping to take out the garbage and the Ravens deep to left. His favorite spot. Juno moved her hips up the stairs to the upper deck as Kenny embraced the pitcher with some hot swings motioning for some pitches. Super Nova catching every move and bounce as she followed Juno to the top of the stairs.
The man with worn blue sunglasses dropped his pop corn and walked unsuspectately to the stairs. Two men in blue and badge stopped the man in worn sunglasses and asked for identification. "Hey, Hey you! "We need to see some ID." The men in blue demanded. Facing the razors edge of the law, the man reached in his back pocket for his wallet. The heat was on and he knew it. His last confrontation with the law was what he hoped to be his last. Pulling two twenties from the holster of his leather offered up the bribe and and one blow for his last holiday.
Billie the younger of the two jazzed and Gravy the older of the two rocked to the tune. "He's not our guy", Gravy told Billie as he put both hard earned twenties in his back pocket. "What do you say we look the other way and let our man here get a head start", Gravy sudgested to Billie and man in worn blue sun glasses.
Kenny hit one deep in left and the man in worn blue sunglasses disappeared with the swing. Fine time to leave me as the ball hit the fence. A ground rule double, as Gravy took one back in the upper deck while the rookie watched his badge and wondered.
The man in worn blue sunglasses started to wonder what he was wanted for other than a bribe in the cloak of people and the dark on the night. Lighting a cigarette the man in worn blue sunglasses headed back to his spot in the crowd and lit a smoke.
Pop corn, cotton candy, hot dogs, cigarrettes the vender in red and white stripes said and echoed. Beyond the hum of the crowd the man in worn blue sunglasses in thought of memory long time gone didn't even notice.
Tom warmed in the batters box and Juno's imagination ran wild in the upper deck. Things too good to be true sometimes happen. Everything she dared to dream stood in front of her. A man rough and worn from the road, blue eyes and stubble a real cowboy.
Enrique's ghost sitting in the dug out looking out over the park blue smoke circles in the shape of spades wondering if anyone remembers him. My paper heart bleeds. Catch it if you can. The boys of summer playing, the night seeming so long. Gingerale looked closely through her opera glasses hoping to get a better look at the diamond saw what could only be explained as smoke circles in the shape of spades. Focusing and narrowing her gaze to the dug the aparition disappeared.
Doubting what she may or may not have seen. She put her opera glasses down and scratched the left side of her nose and blinked twice. Sending sudgestions to Aliace who was looking the other way hoping to steal a glance from a stranger three rows back. Aliace who was paying no attention to what was happening on the diamond turned to see Gingerale a little pale. "Is everythig alright?" Aliace asked Gingerale.
"I think I need a drink. I saw that stranger down on third blowing smoke rings of spades above the diamond." Gingerale said. Are you talking about the french dark tall handsome gentleman we saw a few pitches back? Aliace inquired. "Yeah, I mean I think so. He looked like a ghost from the nevermore" Gingerale replied. "Are you catching the fever?" Aliace asked puting her hand to Gingerale's cheek. "You feel a little warm. We should stretch our legs and get some air." Aliace sudgested. "Yes some air, some air would be grand." Gingerale said her eyes and mind obviously in another place. Standing a little light headed she started walking not paying attention and tripped taking a fall.
"Gingerale, Gingerale." Came Aliace's voice. Gingerale heard coming back to. Her vision blurry she saw a man over head. "Gingerale my name is Robert Zimmerman you simply fainted and the tears on your cheek are from lafter. You won't die happily ever after. You have the tomb stone blues." Holding her hand and preventing her from going insane. " I saw a man from here after". Gingerale attempted. "Gingerale your coming down with the fever." said Alliace.
"I'm a doctor, I'm a doctor." Came a voice and a push through the crowd. "Pills and paper flowers will save her she has the chemical romance. Take two of these and please try to tell me what you saw." said the doctor. "Pills and paper flowers will not save her. The hat the cat and the ace of spades have spelled her." Robert Zimmerman said. "I am a doctor and I have seen this beofore. Pills and paper flowers will surely save her", the doctor said. "The hat the cat and the ace of spades have spelled her", Robert Zimmerman attempted. "Get your pad mam the boy's insane", said the doctor.
"Aliace, Aliace", came Gingerale's voice. "Yes I'm here dear", "said Aliace. "Who are these people they are making me very nervous", said Gingerale. "Well one's a doctor and the other, the other is...", Aliace was saying. "A poet yes a poet", came Zimmerman's voice. "And a doctor of what exactly", Zimmerman questioned. "A doctor, a doctor that is it and nothing more. You my lad have no bump but surely to bed you must be. Those that dream when awake are called insane. That is it and nothing more", said the doctor. Robert pondering the doctors orders in his mind tosing the question from side to side said, "Surely a doctor of your stature can see the problem here. The problem is not in dreaming while waking but seeing the obvious and the obvious being she needs no pills and flowers from paper are for the sick who dream none at all. Of which I need none and the lady has seen one the cat two the hat and the ace of spades that spelled her", Robert defended.
Ginerale sitting up said a little clearer, "Yes the man in the hat blowing spades above his shadow of a seeing I was facing. Surely what I saw was not what I saw at all." "Surely she has the fever, blowing smoke and the ace of spades. She needs the pills and paper flowers", said the doctor. "Doctor who exactly." asked Zimmerman. "Frederick Chopin of france. I've seen this fever many a times in France and what she needs are pills and paper flowers", said Dr. Frederick. "Excuse me doctor, doctor Chopin but what I saw was very real", said Gingerale. "Yes the imagination", doctor Chopin attempted. "Yes the imagination prevails all. The lady was sleeping barely dreaming of a shadow she saw we are a facing. In rhyme and memory she has seen the things no one dares believes of the shadow we are seeing she is facing", said Zimmerman.
The crowd came to its feet in succesion and roared sending chills down the neck of all that were watching. "What now?", asked Gingerale. The Doctor grabbing his opera glasses and saying very cleverily. "Holy shit Springsteen hit one over the wall!" And walked away. "Ravens up Blood hounds down", came the familiar alcoholic voice of Sparky on the public address. The men cheered and the ladies laughed. "We're in for a real swinger", Sparky muttered through the crowd the and the alcohol.
Juno in the upper deck watching the worn and ragged cowboy roll smoke after smoke said to Super Nova, "I don't want to move to fast but that cowboy keeps on giving me the eye." Turning with the delicacy of a dancer and the curves of an adult movie star Super Nova said, "The cowboy with the texas accent talking up every woman with sexual intentions?" "Yes yes you know the one I mean", Juno returned. "Yeah he's a real cowboy", Super Nova said. "I think I've seen him in the movies", Juno remarked. "Why don't you make a move I know it's not football but try a pass. You never know you might make it to first base", Nova said in all her experience with men and baseball.
Juno pulled her compact mirror and powdered her nose, fixed her hair and was about to make her move before Nova stopped her. "Wait a minute dear", Nova said and loosened Juno's top most button showing some separation. "Now you're ready for some pitches", Nova sudgested. Juno winked pulled her hair and walked to the cowboy. "Hey darlin'," the cowboy winked. "I saw you looking my way", Juno said sipping her white wine. "I was darlin couldnt' help myself but a lookin' at a lass as beautiful as you." Juno turned on her heel's and said, "I couldn't help but coming over to talk to you lookin' the way you do. Could I get your name?" "The name's Marlboro not like the faggit but like the man.", Marlboro said tipping his hat.
"Wow I'm a little tongue tied, i'm not so sure what to say.", Juno said. "Don't be nerveous lass happens to me all the time. Seems I have this magnetism towards the opposite sex.", Marlboro the man said. "Xcuse me Marlboro but if you don't mind me asking but what does a man as you do for a living?", Juno asked. "Well lass I play a little guitar in a rock 'n roll band called Molly's Garage.", Marlboro told. "Wow you're a musician?", Juno asked. "Some would call it that. I call it livin. Makes me a dime and keeps me on the road.", Marlboro said. "Well what kind of guitar do you play?", Juno asked mesmerized by the cowboys pressence. "I play an old Strato, flat black and from highway one. Does the job and the doesn't scare the ladies.", Marlboro said.
"Well you mean it doesn't scare the ladies 'cause you're just so good lookin they don't care what you play.", Juno sudgested. "Ah lass you got me to blushin. You're real sweet you know. Like those apple blossoms down in Tenessee. Sweet and pretty. But shit they don't last to long.... You stickin around?" Marlboro asked. "Well I don't know.......you ever been to Sydney? Up in Nova Scotia in the highlands. I met this guy Jimmy. Anyway we was livin together dreamin of, of startin a family and buildin us a nice home. He got drafted to army. That was 8 years now haven't heard or seen him since. I got intentions of going back I got lots of intentions.", Juno said.
"Well shit honey I ain't ever been to Scotia been over seas though some them europeans dig the rock 'n roll of the USA.", Marlboro said. "Think of it what you will it ain't no matter I've got me to thinking Jimmy's not coming back. You know he played a little he played a lot plus he played a little guitar. Wasn't in no rock roll band though. Used to get me to singing. Singin old country tunes.", Juno said. "Shit you got a voice?", Marlboro asked. "Well I've got the blues and a little country in me. Grandma used to sing gospel. It's in my blood.", Juno delivered.
The blood hounds pitcher Trey Anns threw a knuckle over home striking out Allman Phish leaving runners on first and third to end the inning. Sparky called the inning almost drunk over. "Top of the herd", Sparky mumbled nursing the mic and his drink. "That brings the score dead even tat nothing nothing and Harlem back up for some trows.", Sparky announced through the third and third of his pint.
The deja view of Sparky's voice brought the readers attention back to the game. Harlem still in his zone walked to the mound un-nerved by the zombies gazing behind the home run wall. White for the Hounds warmed his bat with some swings. Harlem warmed his arm with some mock throws to Young the cathcher.
Young had promise. Promise of going to the bigs. Young was young and talented. Among the crowd were scouts, scouts to the city of lights that put pressure on the young catcher. Pressure he could feel his fate was in his glove and Harlems pitches.
Harlem grooved the ball in his glove over and over. Looking for that perfect feel the perfect moment. He knew the pressure was on. Trying to calm Young and slow the pace without anybody knowing. He pulled his gloved and wiped his brow. Put his glove back on and threw a grounder. Young bobled and harnessed the ball pulling his cathcer's mask and eyeing Harlem.
Young called time and Robin Williams the home plate ump gave him time. Young jogged to the mound. "Watcha pitchin?", Young asked. "Shit i'm pitchin' shit", Harlem retplied. "What the hell for?", Young asked. "This a big game.", Harlem replied. Young turned to second and then to the crowd. "You listen to me a you listen good. Forget about them there scouts the real game's between the lines of the diamond. That other stuff don't mean shit. Use your glove 'cause the pitches are coming." Harlem replied.
Young deliverd the ball back to Harlem the way a catcher does who's a little nerved, young, cocky and unlikely to admit mistakes. Young pulled his catchers mask and jogged back to home plate. Cool and unerved Harlem wizzed the ball to Young's mit before White could decide to swing and Williams called it, "STIKE!".
Drops of rain began falling on the diamond. Harlem took another pictch outisde and White swung. The ball popped high above the home plate praying for foul. Young ditched his mask and went for the ball. The rain falling and the ball circling in the lights and falling for the stands. Young leaned over the wall and led his glove to ball. Between the crowd and the rain the ball fell favor to Young's glove putting White back in dug out. "Nice catch darlin',” the woman who made room for the play and Young’s move applauded. Young looked to see the woman’s face and sitting beside her was big city scout. Speechless Young tossed the ball to Williams the home plate ump who called time.
The teams manager’s, Doyle for The Blood Hound’s and Heart for the Raven’s met with the game officials who agreed to delay the game due to rain. The author a little worried the fans might leave before the game is over called the attention back to the tragic moth’s who enjoyed the spotlight and doubled in size as no one noticed. Unaware of his own place in the game, the author took some time to recollect his thoughts on the characters. Their own identities and affairs now haunting and confusing to me in wake a dream must to my realization of place a purpose.
The man with worn blue sun glasses now running from the truth or some idea of law stood at the top of the crowd pearing down on all the thoughts thus written making contiplations and perplexing his own identification in the game as the rain delayed and the moths portrayed a little paranoia because in the essence of the game they have no significance other to delay and entertain the author because they have no voice and limited character traits requiring thought and evolved substance.
Sparky enjoyed some time with his bottle as the crowd made noises that crowd’s make during a rain delay. Buddy Holliday the organ player as I remember entertained with some bouts with the organ while Sparky called the score and stats between sips. The man in worn blue sunglasses called me for some attention and character depth. Either he's from the past or the future he does not know but his time is somewhere else. The metallic blue shades from another time brought mystery and intrigue to the wanted figure who obviously has some cosmic connection to Super Nova and the moths. The moths continued to entertain me and the readers as the rain fell some times hard some times soft on the green, green grass. The lights barely cascading their shadow's on the diamond.
The author worried about the ratings of the game, ratings and reader interest bering the most important aspect of entertainment decided to get the game back on. The umpire, the Wizard of Oz cancelled the game by accident waking Sparky a little. Who was about to end the game. The umpire Alice in Wonderland corrected the Wizard of Oz who ended the rain delay and called the players back to the field.
Harlem made his way to the mound the grass still a little wet from the rain. The lights shinning brightly on the diamond. Harlem warmed his arm with some throws to Young. Harlem could see Young loosened up a little maybe it was the rain delay. Maybe he got head from one of his throws. "Game on the", the Home plate ump called"
Harlem threw a spit ball passed home plate. No one saw but the pitch was good as Robin Williams called STRIKE. The buzz in the crowd started again as the rain quieted and the umbrellas were replace with pop corn and cigarrettes. "POP CORN, CANDY, CIGARETTES", the vendor chanted. Buddy laid some tasty organ vibes and the crowd responded by cheering the Ravens through the bottom of the third. Sparky called the score at nothin', nothin' and sipped on his second pint as this was a a longer game for Sparky and the rest of the participants although we all came prepared. The author took a break to ponder the ideas of the park and visit the moths firsthand to aleaveate his fear of fear but to keep the suspense the author promises not to mention about the moth known as Mothra.
"Let's go Harlem." Gingerale called who is now feeling better and back in the game. The Slash the leading home run getter in the league and a major big city prospect came to the mound. Harlem made no eye contact as Slash motioned for some pitches. To keep the back bencher's warm and the scouts nervous a war ensued a home plate as Harlem pictched and Slash swung. The count now full. Harlem knew he had one picth left. The crowd silent and on the edge of their seats waited and waited.
Harlem gave a nod turned a threw his fast ball in the middle of the strike zone. The Slash knew it was coming and slugged. The ball made deadly contact sending the audience eyes to center field and the home run wall. The ball hung and flew for seconds that took minutes. Harlem's eyes never left the glove of Young as the ball challenged it's destination. Ruth the center fielder chased the ball to the Wall jumping to make the big play. The ball left the park and brought The Slash home. Harlem watched The Slash touch every base of the Diamond he was pitching in the middle of.
Sparky took a big shot from his second pint Hailed Mary and called the score one, to one for the Blood Hounds. The crowed hushed over the big swing of The Slash. The score operator who we'll name Paws fixed the score to one nothing for the blood hounds in the top of the third.
Gingerale light on her feet fixed herself and checked her look in the mirror she was concealing in her purse. "Are you feeling better?" Aliace asked. "Yes just a touch.", said Gingerale. Gingerale looked to Mr. Zimmerman "thank you sir but contrary to the doctor's orders what I saw was very real." "Obviousley the cat, the hat and the ace of spades has spelled you. The shadow you saw you are facing are very real Ms, Ms. I didn't get your name Miss.", said Zimmerman. "Why my name my name is Gingerale.", said Gingerale. "Gingerale of the starlit county?", asked Zimmerman. "Why yes Mr. Zimmerman that is my name and place." said Gingerale. "Ginerale friend of Miss Carroll. Miss Gingerle now is not the time for your tears. What you saw was very real. In the CourtRoom of Honor the judge will pound his gavel and the deeds and missdeeds of the trial on earth will be remembered in wake and death. And you who philosophize, disgrace and critizize all fears will see the truth when none other can or see.", repented Mr. Zimmerman.
"Truth be know the way I feel tonight anything could happen. The doctor's pills and paper flowers were obviously a metaphor of some and whether he was a real doctor or not I do not know as he did leave before providing that evidence. You being the poet and as you say the cat, the hat and the ace of spades have spelled me. What I saw was very real and beyond the comprehention of most men and women. I feel the love of a stranger and perhaps I will never come to realize that strange bond I have wilh the spectre I thought I may have seen." revealed Ginerale of the starlit county and friend of Miss Caroll. "If you see her say hello to Miss Carroll". said Zimmerman with a tip of his hat and entered the motley of colors within the crowd. .
"Aliace are will still at the game?" Gingerale asked Aliace who we know is Aliace. "Well yes Gingerale we are still at the game.", Aliace responded. "And the Auto Carrage. The lighs are still off?", asked Gingerale. "Why yes Gingerale I turned them off at the start of the game.", Aliace returned. Gingerale standing up asked, "And the inning what inning are we in?" Aliace turned to the scoreboard and counted. "The third and the game is tied 1 to 1."
"After meeting Mr. Zimmerman and the the Doctor things seem a little different. Like when you put on a pair of sunglasses and the lighting tints but everything is as it were but the tint has changed. We must make our way back to our seats.", Gingerale said as Aliace repositioned her sunglasses and agreed.
"Well shit honey feels like there was an earthquake or something what with all that game delay rain and you walking my way", Marlboro said. "You aint sore about the size of my figure and trying to cover in up with some fancy southern talk is you.", asked Juno. "Naw shit honey you the best sight these sore eyes have seen in days.", Marlboro returned. They was all about dancing to the rock 'n roll up and down the floor knocking people and their drinks. Marlboro didn't care he was a cowboy on a mission and Juno was lost in the daze of the cowboy's gaze all the while Jimmy was in a far away place doing far away things. If he was even still breathing while his love was dancing. (Poor Jimmy, wherever you may be). Nova watched the masterpiece unfold.
"Well shit honey you want to go the back seat of my car. No ones gonna miss us. I just want to sneak a peek.", Marlboro sudgested. "Take a peek a what exactly", Juno paused. "Why that figure of yours. I want to see beneath those clothes.", Marlboro delivered putting his hand on Juno's behind. "You won't be sneeking a peak at nothin'", Juno blushd pushing the cowboy away. "Ah shit honey just playin' the way we southern boys do. Aint meanin' no harm.", Marlboro teased.
A blond haired Dolly walked in the room glaring at Marlboro. "You dancin' with some hussy?", Dolly retorted. "You got a wife?", Juno asked. "No she's my back up singer.", Marlboro said in a lot hash and hoopla. "You calling me a back up singer? I own that band!", Dolly let loose. "And whose this hussy your dancin' around with", Dolly let loose again. "Hussy? Who you callin' hussy we was just a dancin' ", Juno replied.
"Dancin'! Is that was he calls it? We've been dancin' for fifteen years and Marlboro calls it dancin'." "I bet he said those words and told you he's in some rock and roll band. We've been livin' in a trailer down by the river barely paying and playin the blues. Dolly let loose again. "Well he did mention a little rockin and rollin and something 'bout the back seat of his car.", Juno in full bloom delivered. "The back seat of his car. He ain't even payin' the bills. That's the back seat of my car.", Dolly let loose again.
Dolly walked over to Marlboro holding the keys to the 57 ThunderCat snatched them and walked away. In her parting shot as she left the room said. "Don't bother comin' home to momma. I've sold the trailer and found a real guitarist. We're movin' to Nashville to cut a record wish Low Dog Music." Marlboro stumbled not sure what to say and fumbled the words. "What about my guitar?". "Sold that too. You've got nothin' Marlboro, nothin'.", Dolly's words echoed as she disappeared in her safeway cart.
Marlboro turned lit a cigarette sippeed his drink and looked at Juno with a tear in his eye. "Well I guess you know the story now darlin'." "Shit I ain't got nothin' left 'cept the shirt on my back and the drink in my hand.", Marlboro said half guessin' half beggin'. Juno put a dime in the juke box a picked some good American Rock and Roll of an artist left nameless who still lives to this day and put the Rock in the Roll. Walking over to Marlboro who turned to see the smile of an angel. "You still feel like dancin' Marlobro?", Juno asked.
Marlboro looked up tip his hat and said. "You damn right I feel like dancin' ", half smiling half choking back the tears. "You know you're one hell of a momma." Marlboro said pulling Juno tighter. "You ain't so bad yourself", Juno returned with a wink.
Back on the diamond Harlem was in a suicide squeeze with runner's in the corners and two outs. "How is your fevour now", Aliace asked Gingerale. "Well to be honest i'm a still a little light headed. I'm still not so sure if what I saw was real, or imagined. Do you smell cigarette smoke?" Gingerale delivered. Aliace looked around sniffing. "Now that you mention it I do smell a little tobacco smoke.", Juno said. A shadowy figure 5 rows back was blowing smoke rings through the air. "Must be the gentlemen 5 rows back.", Gingerale delivered. At which Aliace turned to look. "What gentlemen 5 rows back", Aliace aseked. Gingerale turned to see the shadowy figure gone. "I could have sworn I saw a gentlemen smoking 5 rows back.", Gingerale pleaded.
"Remember what the doctor said?", Aliace asked. "Yes I do remember. I'm sure I saw something on the diamond and five rows back. What I saw was very real." Gingerale pleaded desperatly for her sanity in the smoke rings of her mind and the diamond. As the words of the poet came back. The ace of spades has spelled her in smoke rings above the diamond of the game everyone was watching but not seeing the things she believed were real.
Wondering about my own sanity in the moment i'm pondering over the thoughts of poor Gingerale. Me being the one who drops in from time to time and let you in on the secrets of my mind. If what she saw was a manor of my own imagination now playing on the strings of sanity in her mind. If a shadow you are seeing that you are facing in not very real to anybody but you. Are you indeed looking at reality as everyone one sees it. Probably not but that happen's to me every day. I'm wondering if Gingerale has contracted a maligned sense of self through the thoughts I placed in her head or the thoughts she placed in mine.
I got the idea that all dreams came from Hollywood. I wonder if Gingerale has been to Hollywood or even close to it. If she of the starlit county had dreams of making it big in the city of lights. To be one of those screen actor's the West seems to call. Remembering what the Doctor said, I am putting those ideas to rest and trying to focus on what's real. Without harming the character's particularly Gingerale. I am hoping they will discard the ideas of my mind and focus on their lives and what is real to them.
The sun was down and the lights were shinning on the diamond. The crowd was growing increasingly more comfortable with themselves and more anxious about the game. The Raven's were down to the visiting Blood Hounds by one run. Nick Minage came to bat for the Raven's in the bottom of the third, bunted and finally made it to first base. Before anybody could take a second glance Nick Minage stole second base.
Letting Nick Minage do his thing and the batter's do there's I did a little crowd surfing. Caught in a black and white dream before I could focus on the haze of the motley of the crowd I saw a black and white picture of the girl from Eric's Trip. The picture flashed and disapeared before I could interpret the sepia tone of life lived long before I thought I was alive.
Dream therapy and thought separation is a form of meditation I have experimented with. Whether the experience leaves me with a higher state of consciousness, confusion or insight I haven't decided. The state between consciencenous and sleep leaves me to believe their is a naked reality in dreams I am attempting to understand and live beyond the fear of the unknown.
Waking myself with a tap on my shoulder from the cat from wonderland to continue the game of the players on the diamond and the lives who watch them.
The crowd surfing now making me psychotic I turned to the diamond. Nick Minage was leading toward third Orange Glass at bat. White the Blood Hounds pitcher looking very intent and angry threw to second forcing Nick Minage back on the safety of second.
Sparky took a sip from his flask mutted the mic and swore. "When polictics get involved in the game it all goes to hell", Sparky muttered. Unmutted the mic and remained in character. Orange Glass at bat that 2 outs for the blood hounds in dire need of a run.
Buddy the organ player laid some beats of the pipe organ trying to get the crowd in to the game and the batter at the plate. The crowd rustled through the pop corn, yesterday's news and their drinks. Time being unimportant and the game in focus. We put some pressure on the diamond and the players in light. Needing a big play Orange Glass looked to the heaven's and swung like and elevator going to hell, kicking the ball out of the park before anyone in the stands could even blink.
Sparky never taking his eyes off the play swore without muting the mic bringing the self conscious fans back to reality and the fact that the Home town Raven's took the lead as Nick Minag swaggered home with Orange Glass following closely behind. Sparky through the drink and the hit called the score at 3 to 1 for the Home Team.
Feeling a little positive about the the hit and the score. And being able to remain anonymous the man in blue sunglasses checked the clock rolled a smoke and pondered. Needing a catch before he could light the cigarette sorted through the crowd and the the memories dancing from home plate to the wall and beyond. Caught a glimpse of realism adjusted the shades and lit the smoke.
Thinking back and looking out behind the wall. The BlueSunglasses scratched by life and the character wearing them hid the identity of the man once anonymous to the reader. Now feeling like coming out from the shade lit another smoke and stared the author straight in the eyes. Remembering his life I paused to remember and attempted to understand where he came from to end up in this game and understand where he wished to go. The people are free to come and go from the park. Where they go beyond the walls of the park I am not sure.
The man in BlueSunGlasses is a bit of an enigma and his purpose within this story is yet to be determined.


The Game