The Baseball Game Tonight
Great game: Kernels won 10-1
I prefer to people-watch.
There’s a beer guy in Chicago who makes an art of pouring beer—smooth, effortless, rhythmic:
Pop two caps at once
Flip both cans upside down at the same time into two plastic glasses waiting in his left hand
Glide the cans upward as the foam gradually rises to the top
A quick downward and upward thrust to get the last drop
And pass them down the row to the waiting customer.
He never has to look at what he’s doing
But chit chats with the people
It is perfection
And now he graciously accepts payment
Rapidly flipping through a tight roll of bills
Licking his fingers as he counts out the change
As quickly as a Las Vegas gambler counts his cards
His muscles ripple under the tightly rolled sleeves of his t-shirt.
He proceeds one or two steps to hawk the beer to his next anxious customer
Maybe me (despite my dislike of his brand)
But not tonight…
Tonight there were the hippies:
Pathetically stunted and remaining stuck in a world that no longer exists
Anxious to share their generous spirit of love for all
She with her long, never-before-cut hair
Now gray and sad
He with his modified-fro
And out-of-control moustache
They had 2 children with them
Foster kids or adopted—never quite sure which
Boy: 7 or 8
1st baseball game ever!
Can you imagine that?
Youngest survivor of premature birth
Had sensory deprivation she guessed
Bushy hair controlled somewhat by a hat
And the baby—cute!
A crack baby I was told
The University told her if she took 1 more baby…
They’d give her a beauty make-over
But she’s 60, you know.
Up and down they went—
Changing the baby
Getting more food
Mostly in the way of watching that game
Desperately trying to be my new best friend
Wishing for my beer guy with his rippling muscles.
© Gail Murphy
Bio: Gail Murphy is an RN-turned-English teacher about to give it all up and have a life. She has had short stories and essays published in Paha, Mt. Mercy's literary journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.