Monday, March 01, 2010

The Streak - 60

Evan spent the better part of the game in a trance, doing his best to do what Pat said: to hear. He imagined sound waves passing into his ears, setting his membranes faintly aquiver and registering neutrally in the depths of his brain. Don't listen. Don't think. Hear. He went three-for-four in a losing campaign.

On the field it was a different story. First few plays went all right. Bat, ball, glove, hand. He was moving good, like a machine; in fact, he noticed himself moving the way he should be moving. And that's when he became terrified again.

In the sixth inning he fielded a ball with two outs, first and third. The play was to first. He had plenty of time. But he left the ball inside the glove. Didn't even reach in. Just left it there. As the runner scored he straightened up and trotted miserably across the infield in a bearing of acute disgrace. The ball sat hotly in his web, mocking him, shaming him. Delighted jeers erupted from the stands. Evan glanced at the dugout and saw Bosworth apoplectic.

Kyle came over. "The fuck is wrong with you?"

"I don't know," Evan replied grimly. "I'm fine. I'll be fine."

Kyle gave him a spooky look.

"We're playing some baseball out here, man."

"Got it. Got it, got it, got it, got it."

Kyle smacked his glove on Evan's ass and jogged away. Even from the back Evan could tell his friend was shaking his head.

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