Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Streak - 63

Evan's newfound facility was not limited to defense. He went two-for-four at the plate, with a double and two RBI. In fact the Yankees nearly won that game. They were up in the fifth, 3-2. Things began to unravel when Marlon Hines entered in the sixth. Overworked and despondent, he served up wishful, tentative fastballs that hung like ripe fruit on the vine. With the Yanks down by five in the eighth, rookie Pedro Trujillo came in to mop up. Final score: A's 8, Yankees 4.

After they got back across the Bay to the St. Regis, Evan, Kyle, Sug and Brendan gathered in the lobby bar.

"Japanese," declared Sug.

"Japanese what?" said Kyle.

"S'all Japanese up in here," Sug explained, indicating the hushed and elegant surroundings with a sweep of his hand.

"It ain't Japanese," Brendan asserted, taking a sip of his martini. "It's Scandinavian."

"How can you tell?" asked Kyle.

"The particular grain of the wood. The darkness. The fact that shit's on fire."

A band of blue flame ran along the center of the partition between the lounge and the lobby.

Sug made a face. "Fuck that, it's Japanese."

"I'm inclined to agree with Sug," said Evan.

"How many bars like this have you been to?" Brendan asked reproachfully. "Five hundred thousand? Seven hundred thousand? You should know Scandinavian from Japanese."

"Where the fuck is Scandinavia anyway?" inquired Kyle.

"Nordic," said Brendan. "It's Nordic."

"Nordic motherfucker. Suck my dick, more like it," taunted Sug.

They sipped in silence for awhile.

"Thirty," Kyle said.

"Thirty in a row, boys," added Brendan. "We made it, hurray!" he mock-cheered, raising his glass in a ludicrous toast. The other fellas eyed him mirthlessly.

"Aight, I'll drink alone."

"By the way, do I owe you a drink?" Evan asked Kyle.


"Didja win your bet?"


"Didja fuck her? You have until tomorrow, when we resume our winning ways."

"Oh, yeah. No," Kyle muttered distractedly.

"Did you even try?"

"Nah, nah, didn't go see her yet."

"Anyone talk to that other motherfucker?" asked Sug.

"Spirit in the sky motherfucker? No way," said Brendan.

Kyle shifted uneasily.

"You?" asked Evan.

"Yeah, yeah, I talked to him. Wasn't that bad."

Sug emitted a guffaw.

"Nah man, I'm serious. You should check it out."

"What you all talk about?"

"I don't know, man," Kyle said defensively. "Hard to explain."

"Come on!"

"Yeah come on, two-eight," urged Evan. "Spit it out."

Kyle squinted somberly at his friend.

"Oh my God. You fucked him. You said you were going to fuck her, you fucked him instead!"

Sug laughed and a burst of cucumber-infused vodka erupted from his mouth and dribbled down his chin. He wiped it with his cuff.

"Fuck off," Kyle said. "The guy has... a point."

"A point?" asked Evan.

"He says we can achieve what we want if we try. That's all."

"Who the fuck is he, Mother Goose?"

Kyle sighed. "Trust me, there's something to it. There's a program of –"

"Oh no."

"Of meditation," Kyle said, slapping the table. "Motherfuckers need to open your minds."

Everyone gazed at Kyle.

"And have you... embarked on this program?" Evan asked.

Kyle slurped his Makers and Coke.

"Oh no. Christ. Kyle."

"You guys wanna lose another thirty games, fine by me."

"Don't go wandering down this path."

"I believe in bettering myself. I believe in something."

"Are we gonna have to go looking for you?"

"We gonna read about you in the papers?" asked Sug.

"Drinkin' Kool-Aid?"

"Climbing on a spaceship," added Sug.

Kyle just shook his head and waited for the heat to stop.

"I'm hungry," said Brendan finally. "Let's fuckin' order something."

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