Friday, August 22, 2003

The lady sitting across from me at the library is middle-aged, sun-bleached hair, wearing a white cotton top that ties around her neck, exposing her shoulders and arms. Can't have no flab to pull off this fashion feat. That's why Esther likes to wear a top just like it. So she can show off her strong shoulders and arms she developed lifting up and tending to toddlers five days a week. This woman across from me is very tan, and her bright, celestial bleach-blonde hair accentuates her skin tone. She'd be sexy if she wasn't so fit. Her shoulders and arms are nothing but bone and sinew with knobs as big as shooter marbles on the end of each blade.

Esther asked me, "so what do you have planned today?" The only thing I could say is "I'm going to the library, gonna do some writing, pick up a scorebook and attend tonight's Riverhawks game."

The Hawks lost last night, 3-0, to the Cook County Cheetahs. I feel they will not be able to overcome their 3-game deficit against the Gateway Grizzlies. The 'hawks control their own fate with a three game series against them. It'll be hard to sweep a first place team on the road. Tonight is the last home game for the Riverhawks, and most likely the last I'll see of them until probably 2005. As much as I try to live in the now, I am reminded always, it seems, of the impending adventures we have next year. With four games this week and three more next week, I'm trying to get as much live baseball action as I can. I've never watched more baseball games than I have this summer. I estimate I've gone to about 20 games, but only one was a Major League contest, at Wrigley Field. I'll maybe catch a Brewer game or the White Sox in September, but we'll see what finances dictate.

Tonight is the last home game for the Riverhawks, and will include fan appreciation events and fireworks after the game. Esther is taking her mother and sister to see the Wiggles in Chicago, so I'll be alone again tonight. Last night I went to the ball game myself and indulged in $1 drafts, but was sober enough to ride my bike home without incident. It was kind of fun to pedal with the laconic torpidity of a beer buzz. It felt weird to drink alone. They gave out thunder sticks at the gate. They stuck out of through a hole in my backpack and their whiteness made me more visible to passing motorists.

Esther found a new backpack for me in the trash. It belonged to a boy named Jacob, and his name and address are printed on a tag in the pack. I looked through the pockets this morning as I transferred items from my old pack and found a picture of Jacob, wearing the pack that is now mine. I also found a plastic/rubber/vinyl change purse that held a wooden nickel for free entrance to the Rockford Speedway.

The boy in the picture looks sick, pale and wordly. His eyes wan and bloodshot, probably from a bad diet and too much time on the game boy. This pack is in perfect condition except for a frayed spot on the top handle. It makes me wonder what kind of values these people have who are willing to throw such a perfectly good pack away. Or maybe there's something I don't know. Maybe Jacob looks sick in the picture because he's dying. And maybe he's dead and the parents, not wanting any reminder of their dead child, throw the pack away in the trash. And maybe I'm hauling around the backpack of a dead child.

Most likely though Jacob's a whiny, sugar-addled spoiled brat vidiot who went shopping for back to school stuff with Mommy and begged for the latest, top of the line, coolest "in" pack, and discarded his perfectly good pack from last year like so much consumer flotsam that passes through his freezer burn jam whiz bam life.

Which is all right by me. I can live fine off society's detritus.

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