Monday, April 23, 2007

Brown eyes in the third


Third inning and the Smokies are behind 2-0.

Thought I had the row to myself. It's like that on Monday night games in April. Dollar dog nights don't draw until after Memorial Day.

I'm tallying up the last inning when I see her. She's wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Long legs and pretty blond hair.

Don't think too much about it until she looks up and smiles. Guess it's the brown eyes.

Try not to stare. She reminds me of someone. Can't remember who.

Then it comes. Fifteen years disappear with the first pitch. I feel an old familiar pain, try to ignore it.

I miss the next three outs.

Instead, I'm eating lunch in the cafeteria. She walks by with her friend with the shoulder-length brown hair. I watch her go.

Gonzales flies out to left. The guy two rows up takes a swig of beer.

I'm standing in the English hall talking to Brent. She walks by with her two friends. I remember the smile on her face.

Nelson lines out to short.

I'm on the bus talking to Dewayne and Rodney. She's sitting a couple of seats back. Rodney brings up Neil Diamond. I barely hear.

Jones pops up in foul territory down the first base side. Jimenez drops the foul.

Rodney talks about seeing a show in Myrtle Beach. She comes over at one point. Makes small talk I've forgotten.

"Open your mouth. Open your mouth. Say something," I repeat to myself.

Instead, I sit there.

The crack of the bat brings me back to the park.

Jones finally hits a weak grounder to the pitcher. Throws to Jimenez. Three outs.

The woman gets up, smiles, walks to the concession stand.

It's only the fourth, but the game is over.


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