Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Streak - 32

There seemed to be an unspoken pact between them that they'd say nothing during the cab ride, that they'd let the darkness cast them into silence. Evan looked out at Ninth Avenue: the delis and diners and bars, Optimo Cigars, Szechuan Hunan, tae kwan do. The laundries, bicycle shop and surgical supplies. The Duane Reades and the banks. Italian restaurants. Evan's chest heaved with each breath and he noted its polyrhythm with his heartbeat, one to nine or so, nine innings in a game, there's a poker game called night baseball and there's something about the nine card in it and it's night outside on Ninth, number nine, number nine, number nine, just like John Lennon said.

Evan felt a rapturous kinship with everybody out there, all the shadow people on the street, the gluttonous and disappointed many and the happy few. He wanted to retire from baseball and become a glass and mirrors wholesaler, shutter up the shop at night and come home to the wife and kids in Flatbush. He wanted to extend his arms around the city like Plastic Man, to cradle it, to love it. Fuck it. He saw himself gargantuan, bigger than King Kong, kneeling in the East River with his left knee and the Hudson with his right, straddling Manhattan, stroking the soft lawns of Central Park with the tip of his cock before plunging it down Seventh, between the buildings, plowing cabs and buses, traffic light cables popping like threads. Only this would make him satisfied.

Kyle's phone intruded upon their meditations and they dutifully obeyed it, sharing more cocaine without a word. They turned back to their respective windows and soon the taxi stopped outside the pool hall.

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