I'll be posting much more frequently now that things seem to be flowing - at least once a day, maybe more...
The city was engulfed in red that September, the electricity in the air evident with every breath. This had been a long time coming, playoffs in
Across the ocean, the war raged on – his war. New widows were created everyday and new orphans roamed the streets of
He stopped predicting things for
Work became oppressive. His boss left and a new one was hired, an incompetent one who did not know the first thing about management. To the horror of everyone under his supervision, he began to rely on Peter. Never think your job cannot get worse – there is no end to the misery that can be bestowed upon a sinner in corporate hell.
Peter endeavored to make the office resemble hell as much as possible. To save money for the company, he set the thermostat to 80 degrees, though the September temperatures were still consistently in the 90s. He passed out assignments like data entry that should have been done by an assistant or a temp, further burdening an already overworked staff. Employees were expected to work overtime, and once Peter wrote Casey up for leaving “early,” which was actually an hour and a half late.
“How much money could be made by someone who could actually predict the outcome of games?”
“Guy’d never have to work again.”
“What if I told you I lied about some of the predictions I gave you that were incorrect so you would leave me alone about it.”
“I’d think you were lying about lying.”
“But I’m not. Look, I’m desperate to get out of my job. It’s hell; I can’t take it anymore.”
It was the last week of the season, and the Reds had already clinched the division. The night was light jacket cool with an occasional chill brought by an eerie breeze off the river, and Casey made a couple of grand that night on his predictions. He quit his job the next day, making sure to call Peter a jackass before informing him of his departure. He was still concerned that the thing with
In the language of Crayola, “midnight blue” is the name for a dark October sky, one that compliments the incandescent glow of the stadium lights. Crayola took the liberty to name the light of the world; Casey had created his own names – diamond green, incandescent white, Cincinnati red, groundball brown, stolen base ivory, foul ball yellow…To him, gold was the color of numbers on a scoreboard, silver was a hot dog wrapper, and bronze was summer skin, colored by countless day games, cooking under a Cincinnati sun. There was purple Rockies majesty, amber waves of beer, nuclear orange nacho cheese, and
A week later, Casey experienced Reds October in person for the first time. A hit, another, another, 1-0, second inning. 1-1. 3-1. 3-2, sixth inning. Atmosphere like lighting – Salvador Dali should have been a baseball fan. Melting scoreboards block out the war. Bats instead of bullets, baseballs suspended in cloudless skies and trees, fans like ants marching thorough misshapen randomness. Baseball has no meaning – it is a contradiction, a trivial thing of beauty, or not so trivial. It means everything. Art is not trivial but a true representation of being, a reflection of a human soul. War ravished Dali’s soul, melted the clocks. It ravished the souls of Hemingway, of John Lennon, of J.D. Salinger. And the soul of Casey. His love for baseball was his art – it produced manifestations of healing. But when art becomes commodity, when art ceases to be art…
The ninth ended with the score knotted at three, on to extras. Division Series, Game 1, every mistake counted as much as twenty regular season mistakes. Or fifty. An underserved hope ran through the thundering crowd, connected to the power like an obsolete cable car, riding the rails for as far as the team would carry them. Casey felt like he was running next to them, faster than the traffic could carry them, all of the stops, the getting on, getting off, subsidized fares on his tax dollars, his sacrifice, his service. Mixing real life and baseball, confusing the two, blaming the fair-weather fans, the frontrunners, loathing them for their inability to care about their surroundings, their team, their country, the world. They’d stop at a loss here, a loss there, a losing season, a slump, a strikeout, but he’d keep running. Yeah, he’d keep running all the way to that cornfield in
One game down. Two months pay.