Monday, September 14, 2009

The Streak - 46

Jimmy dropped Evan off at the stadium at about half past three and Evan darted into the players' entrance, sight unseen. A few of the guys were already in the clubhouse, lazily getting out of street clothes and into uniform. Evan collapsed wearily on his stool and let his bag fall to the floor. Esteban Guerra sat shirtless at the locker to his right.

"What's up," said Evan.

"'Sup, Eban." Esteban smiled and jerked his thumb at his mouth a few times.

"Are you calling me a cocksucker? You're a bigger cocksucker than me."

"No, Eban, no," Esteban said, continuing his suggestive gesture.

"Then what. What does that mean?"

"You drink last night."

"Jesus. Yeah, I drink last night. What did you do? Watch 60 Minutes?"

Esteban shrugged and put on a sock. "I go home to Marisol. We have some dinner, we make love."

Esteban's words, innocent and serene, had the ring of reproach.

"You fucked your wife. Good for you."

"No. No fuck. No fuck. We make love," Esteban said, shaking his pinched fingers to punctuate the phrase. To emphasize its precious savor.

"Good, good, good. Good for you."

Esteban laughed maniacally and slapped Evan on the shoulder.

"You fuck last night? Or you make love."

Evan sighed. "I was about to fuck a girl but she was trying to kill me so I had to leave."

Esteban nodded dully, as though this were a perfectly normal story coming from Evan Benjaminson.

"And then I made love."

Esteban's eyes widened. "With who? Denise?"

"No, Christ. Not Denise. Not ever again."

"With a puta from Lisa?"

"No. With tu madre."

Esteban lept up and assumed a comical, old-fashioned pugilist's pose, rolling his fists in tight circles by his chest. Evan did the same and they shadowboxed ludicrously, ducking and weaving, punching the air by each other's heads.

"Maricon!"

"Faggot!"

They laughed and sat back down.

"Eban, today we supposed to wear a reebon."

"What for?"

Esteban shrugged.

"A black ribbon?"

"Sí."

Evan opened his locker and saw that there was indeed a black ribbon on his jersey.

"You don't know why we're wearing a black ribbon today?"

"Eet's to show respect," Esteban said in a faintly scolding tone.

"Yeah, yeah, respect. But for who?"

"For the dead."

"For what dead?"

"Eban, Eban, Eban, Eban. Why you asking me these questions. There are eenough dead people in the world, you can wear a reebon ebry day." Esteban shrugged. "They say to wear a reebon, I wear a reebon."

Evan got undressed and put on his uniform. Then he sat back down and looked down his shoulder at the black band on the hem of his sleeve.

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