Wednesday, July 13, 2005


works in progress

Yes, it's been way too long. What can I say. The NYC school system overwhelmed me this year...

The following is an exercise, written in a writing workshop with Gretchen Cryer. The exercise is in two parts, part one a first person narrative rememberance written in present tense, part two the same, but from another person's point of view. These exercises are written as fast as possible without editing, part one in ten minutes and part two in five.

First Class Session, Exercise One

I arrive at the ballpark at my usual time- in time for batting practice in hopes of catching a ball.
I buy a beer. It’s Old Style, the only brand sold in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Its only advantage. I would never drink this in any other location unless it was the only brand available. It’s hot, sunny, and I can smell the freshly cut grass of the outfield.

I check in with the center field camera man and tell him to let my friend- another camera man- know that I am in the ballpark, what I’m wearing and where I’m sitting. My friend has promised me he’ll put me on TV during the seventh inning stretch.

The game is going badly. The Cubs are down 9-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. I almost leave, but, saying that, I almost never leave a game until it’s over. The Cubs score two in the bottom of the sixth.

During the seventh inning stretch I get up, wearing my red Second City sweatshirt and hold up my bad beer and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Harry Caray ends the song barking out his usual “Let’s get some runs!”

As if the team takes the hint, they score three more runs in the bottom of the seventh and four in the eighth to tie it up.

Nine runs! Unbelievable! They win it in the tenth! The greatest comeback I have ever seen in the hundreds of games I’ve seen in person and unknown thousands I have watched on TV.

I get home and my answering machine is jammed with messages from people who watched the game and saw me…

Part Two

It’s mid-February. Pitchers and catchers are showing up for spring training.

WGN is rerunning a game from last season- the great comeback game against the Houston Astros- get the city to think summer, warm weather, and that THIS is NEXT YEAR! The year the Cubs will finally do it!

I roll a joint and settle down in front of the TV- happy to already know the outcome of the great comeback game I never got to see the first time.

It’s the seventh inning and the Cubs are down 9-2. I get up and join Harry and sing like an idiot in the middle of winter, waiting for the tundra of my front yard to defrost.

Hey! Look at that! Rob’s on TV! There’s snow on the ground up to my asshole but I know there’s hope for the season! Rob’s at the ballpark, it’s last July and he’s about to see the greatest comeback ever!

I pick up the phone and punch in his number-

“Hey! I saw you at the ballpark today! Can’t wait for the season to start…"
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