Friday, May 14, 2010

The Streak - 83

"We should play baseball like this," I declare.

"Like this what? Drunk and angry?"

"No, not like we're playing. For Jesus' sake. Like this guy's playing." I nod to Ken.

"You mean empty their wallets and fuck 'em in the mouth? It's a novel approach to America's favorite pastime, Ev."

"No, I mean look at him."

We examine Ken as he deals our hands. He smiles faintly, not taking his eyes off the cards.

"He don't give a fuck," I say, turning to Kyle. "Win or lose."

"He don't give a fuck!" Kyle repeats in wondering whisper.

"Isn't it a thing of beauty?"

"You're bleeding again."

I press a cocktail napkin to my nostrils and examine the resulting crimson stain. I've lost already. Kyle has eights to split.

"So, we should play ball like we don't give a good goddamn," he says. "Should I double down?"

"The book says so," I reply, pinching my paper-bandaged nose.

"Fuck the book."

"Don't fuck the book. You're not listening to a thing I'm sayin'. Be disciplined for once."

Kyle doubles down grudgingly and receives a three across his ten.

"See?!" he scolds me angrily.

"You don't understand the first thing about gambling, do you?"

"I may not give a fuck about baseball but I'm always gonna care about cards," he declares grimly, sipping his drink.

"See what I mean if we play like that? We just might win."

"I like it, one-seven. I like it."

Kyle puts a voluminous stack of chips on his spot. I stay in for the minimum. Just to be companiable.

"You take your position on the field. First pitch. What happens?"

"I don't care."

"Home run. Strikeout. Something's gonna happen."

"We don't give a shit what happens."

"We're down a couple runs already."

"So fuckin' be it."

"We come to bat–" I take another card. Stand pat. "We come to bat. Do we get on base?"

"Maybe, maybe not. Everybody's gotta die."

"We score a run. Maybe we score five."

"I hit into a double play. Could I be bothered to give a shit?"

"It was a well-hit ball. And who fucking cares if it wasn't?"

"We sit around the dugout. It's a pretty nice day."

"I'm adjusting my balls in there. Maybe the camera's watching."

"You're unconcerned."

"Feels good to touch my balls and the rest of the world can kiss my ass."

"Do you watch the scoreboard? Fucking no."

"Eventually the game comes to an end. Did we win?"

Kyle smiles and shrugs. He takes a card and busts. Tries to suppress a cringe.

"We don't even notice till we read it in the papers," I continue. "And whaddaya know. We won."

"We won! It was a blowout."

"We killed them."

"We killed them with our cocks."

"And we didn't even notice."

"I like it, I like it," Kyle says. Just then he gets blackjack.

"S'like a sign from above," I declare.

"This is our new strategy. Moving forward."

"It's decided."

Kyle laughs and looks up to the dealer. "Is it true, Ken? You don't give a fuck? Is that your secret?"

Ken smiles his little smile again. "Actually, sir –"

"No!" Kyle protests. "Don't tell me you care about winning!"

"Like every other loser," I interject.

"Actually, sir," Ken continues. "I like to see the players win."

No comments: