Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect


He hadn't swung the baseball bat since he was a child. A signed Pete Rose Louisville Slugger with the numbers 4256 written below his autograph. The bat had never actually connected with a ball before even though he had contemplated it many times as kid.Fortunately, as soon as his father had brought the piece of baseball history home with him from the station where Pete came by to pay his respects to the CPD they put the bat in the den. Even refusing to take it down after Charlie Hustle was banned from baseball. They always figured he would've been reinstated. Here's to hoping.

The piece of wood was dusty and he could see the blood collecting on the handle where it should've been dripping off. He continued to clench not only the slugger but his jaw as he remembered the first time his dad had ever taken him to a Red's game. Pete was managing then, but just to see the all-time hit leader standing in the dugout running the show was enough for him.

The Reds took the game in the 9th when Eric Davis hit a walk-off home run. Explosions were going off in his head the way he remembered the fireworks lighting up the Cincinnati skyline that cool October night in Riverfront Stadium. He didn't think that he was crying but he could feel something dripping down his face.

He released his grip on the bat and wiped his cheek. Blood. It was streaming from his forehead where there was a small hole. He felt his knees give out as he crumpled to the floor. His mind went back to the 1990 World Series. His Dad had brought home brooms for the family for game against the A's, just in case a sweep was in order.

His mom commented that "they should incorporate doing the dishes and taking out the trash in sporting events. Then the house might get cleaned from time to time". They celebrated the Red's first world Series victory since 1976 drinking Little Kings Beer and eating Skyline Chili dogs, the kids had Barq's Root Beer and 4-ways.

As his vision darkened and closed in, his dad stumbled from the other room and stood over him with a gash to the side of his head, blood gushing. "God damn it son. Why were you swinging that bat in the dark? I thought you were a burglar". He shared his father's thoughts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Phantom


She placed her empty Rimini wine glass down on the table. The 2004 Royal Cuvée that had once filled it to the brim was now just a few drops at the bottom of the handmade blown glass. The stem looked like a clear stake that might puncture the heart of Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, Gary Oldman.

When she slid her Italian curved-back round chrome dining chair away from the vintage mid-century modern two seater mother of pearl dinette it made an obnoxious scraping noise against the wood floors that needed to be refinished since they had moved into their dream home fixer-upper the previous fall.

The opaque starburst ashtray sat on the newly installed Amarello Boreal granite counter tops. It was purchased from a posh antique store by her sister as a wedding present for them. The wedding seemed like it was a lifetime ago for her; same day for him.

Her bare feet on the soon to be distressed wood floor was soothing to him; like being in the womb or sleeping in on a saturday morning when she was up early making coffee; bacon; eggs; toast. Breakfast in bed seemed like a ritual. The sheets were stained with coffee. It never crossed his mind to buy new ones. She had a 1200 thread count spare set in the closet.

The cigarette was already stubbed out in the ashtray. The lighting of the Benson & Hedges Menthol was forgotten; missed by his eye. He could smell the smoke in the air, but didn’t recall her smoking it. “When did she start smoking in the house?” He almost thought out loud.

The living room was dark, but comfortable. That’s where she sat on the Kissel leather sofa. Any attempt he made to turn on one of the vintage danish bulbous organic wood and ceramic eames era lamps was aborted by her waving her hands in disapproval. It was easier to speak the truth in the darkness. 

He sat across from her in a 19th century English wing chair that was upholstered with pistachio suede. The craving for a Robustos Cuban cigar overtook him, but he had run out of them last week. She crossed her legs and stared right through him.

“It’s not a difficult questioned.” He pressed.

“Maybe for you it’s not.” She said. He right leg was now bouncing on her left knee with perfect 4/4 timing. They could make music. He wanted to sit second chair.

“I just feel like Jar Jar Binks was George Lucas’ way of metaphorically shining a light on the failures of not only a democratic government, but any attempts of a one world government.”

He heard the front door slam. Her keys were no longer on the Mahogany kidney accent table that stood inside the living room. Pulling out of his iphone from his stanton style shorts, he unlocked the screen and opened the Star Wars Unleashed App. The screen lit up the room with green glow of a light saber.