Monday, March 15, 2010

The Streak - 65

Evan called Kyle's room, no answer. Same with his cell. He called Brendan next.

"Whatcha doin'? Get a drink?"

"I'm beat, man. I'm gonna stay in."

"Awright."

He lay flat on his back for a few minutes and wondered what to do. He contemplated doing absolutely nothing. He imagined what it'd be like if he lay there, just like that, and never moved. Didn't answer the phone. Didn't answer the door.

The first call would come in at about 10:15 when he didn't show up for the bus. Then the ringing would quickly become more frequent. As it grew clear that something was amiss, his teammates would be grilled as to his whereabouts the previous night. His demeanor. An assistant coach would soon be dispatched to bang on the door, accompanied by a few players. The rapping would be punctuated by urgent, muffled shouts: Yo! Evan! Open up! Eventually the hotel manager would provide a key and a small mob would burst into his room to discover him lying placidly, fully clothed, eyes wide open.

What's wrong? What are you doing? they'd ask. Nothing. Nothing's wrong. They'd stand in puzzled silence. You're late. Gotta get over to the stadium, Ev. He'd just look up at them, stonefaced. More perplexed waiting. Come on, one-seven. Get up! What the hell's wrong with you? He'd shake his head. They'd ask him stuff; he'd say No. Nothing. I don't know. As his teammates cajoled and negotiated, the coach would stand aside and place a call to Bosworth:

"He won't get up."

"No... Yeah... Won't get up, I said. That's right."

"He doesn't really look hung over. I don't –"

"I know. I dunno. I dunno. He's not sayin' much."

"OK, I'll ask him–"

"I'm not gonna ask him that."

"OK."

The coach would then place his phone against his chest, temporarily quieting the staticky torrent of profane vitriol blaring from its speaker, and turn toward the bed.

"Evan, Skip would like to know why you aren't prepared to play baseball today."

Evan would blink and shrug. Not say a word. The coach would sigh and warily place the phone back to his ear.

"He's not sayin' nothin'."

"OK. Yup."

He'd snap the phone back shut and brusquely usher everyone out of the room. Maybe without even a glance at Evan, a dead man now. They'd all file noisily down the hall. Maybe a teammate would pause before closing the door behind him; maybe Sug or Kyle or Brendan. Look at him one last time. Think about one more thing to say. But not say it. It's always easier not to say it.

Evan forced himself out of his reverie, disgusted by his narcissism and self-pity. He looked at the clock. It was 7:47.

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