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Page 2

…for the muse and inspiration for Page 2…a mea culpa…living in the silence is justified, but difficult…lessons learned for writing and maturing to the next level must go on.

Here’s to actually writing Page 2…word.

Jam of the Moment: “Angeles” Elliott Smith


Chapter 2

“Another one?”

Royce nodded.

“What inning is it?”

A crackle of peanuts at the bottom of his shoe informed others it was his own 7th inning stretch.  The din of clanking glasses lulled Royce into an awaken stupor; as he sipped blindly from his muggy highball.

It was baseball day.  Tuesdays were an off-day for football in 49er country. No Joe Montana long-bombs to faux Jerry Rice jumps.  No Ronnie Lott impressions after each interception, sans pinkie sacrifices.  There were only a handful of baseball purists, and Royce was its perpetual king.  Playing baseball in the heart of the City meant “baseball” day was relegated to the hours right after the school bell rang at 3 p.m. to when the church rector closed the gates to the private school’s playground.

Royce’s school, an oasis of quiet solitude hushed by an L-shaped row of one-story classrooms, and painted white chalk lines bordering the field of dreams of hard blacktop. The rectory for the nuns jutted achingly in front of the open blacktop, and the 2-story hall used by the church and school sat menacingly over it.  Yet, there was enough open space to throw a football in front of the principal’s office down to the hall and call it a classic Montana-Rice “Hail Mary”.  Again, it was baseball day.

The church hall acted as Royce’s own version of Fenway Park’s “Green Monster”. He still remembers launching a high fastball to the roof of the Monster, still his arching achievement in his 2-year career of after-school baseball.  It was his love.  Of course, with any passionate affair, there were consequences. He had promised so many times to his grandmother to be home right after school, but the allure of pounding that Wilson tennis ball in the inside corner and seeing his baseball brethren whiff always destroyed his promises.

This day was special.  The bell had just rung and the throng of Royce’s classmates bolted out the 20-foot retractable fence that guarded the school from the 10th Street traffic.   He HAD to be home by 4 p.m.  His band of brothers gathered below the Hall and recounted how they were going to drop the hammer and blast a homer to the roof of the Monster. Among the five, Royce rather pitch than hit, and it was their last “game” of the year.  Royce drew shortest straw, which meant he was pitching.  That 4 p.m. home curfew was looking impossible.  Again, he wasn’t going to miss his spot in the rotation; passion an omnipresent drug of his life.

Chris was the first batter. He always looked for the slider. It was funny. Pitching with a tennis ball.  This anomaly never seemed unnatural to the crew. If anything, when they picked up a real baseball to play catch with, it didn’t seem right. Ghetto ball at its finest.

“You ready?” Royce yelled. Patrick and Frank rounded out the outfield, right in front of the Monster, while John manned both catching and umpiring duties.

“Hold on!” as Chris motioned the mini-Giants bat he got at one of the promotional nights at the ‘Stick.  The bat mimicked a real Louisville Slugger, but give or take half its length.

Chris tapped the blacktop with 3 taps, as he hunched over, because the bat was so short.  As he glared down Royce, a sign he was ready, Chris’s butt hung out for maximum coil.  Royce summoned his best Dave Dravecky impression and placed his mitt over his knee while his pitching hand disappeared behind his back.  Rolling the Wilson tennis ball around his hand, exacting scientific measurements of the neon felt hair, as if each strand meant an off-speed curveball or hard slider; not knowing that each pitch was a fastball no matter what he thought he threw.

Royce finally stood to motion his throw and with his signature Valenzuela-roll of the eyes to heaven, and high horse kick, Royce threw a “curveball” that went over John’s head.

“Ball!” John laughed out as he went to fetch the ball.

“Just throw it back”, Chris ordered.  You could tell Chris wanted as many at-bats as he could.

Royce got the ball back from John, and went through the same ritual. This time, Royce threw his heater and it was straight down the line hitting John’s mitt with a feminine thud, a sound only a tennis ball would make in a catcher’s glove.  Chris swung violently and swung his bat around so hard, it almost launched into John’s face.

“Watch it, man” John cautioned.

Royce was ready.  He threw another, and the ball actually sunk like a sinker and Chris again swung madly at open air.

“Damn”, John demurred as he threw back the ball.

Royce had his stuff today. Pitches were coming like rockets, and Chris managed to lose his batting turn without even a soft grounder past the rectory, let along a high-flying screamer towards the roof of the Monster.

This scene played out through Patrick and Frank.  Again, neither able to launch even a  fly-ball. Royce was on his way to a “perfect game”…a no-hitter for the ages.

John was up.  The final batter.  Royce happened to look at his watch, and his heart nearly jumped out of his mouth, as the short-hand of his watch mocked him at 6 while the long-hand Greek-chorused the time by sitting at 12.  2 HOURS LATE!!

He waved off the chill of his grandmother’s scolding in his head.  It was a perfect game in making.

John didn’t tap his bat nor did he sway any practice swings…he was ready.

Royce massaged the ball in his palm, and focused on the catcher’s glove as the sun’s light disappeared, making the outline of the glove much harder to read.

Royce motioned….his eyes darted towards the purple sky and released the ball with a grun

“Hey, it’s 8th inning”, the bartender finally answered Royce.


Royce looked at his phone, and it was already 10 p.m.


As he tilted past the bar’s front door, he looked around.  She never made it.  A sign that it wasn’t going to happen tonight.  Fumbling for his keys, he started to walk…the fresh smell of concrete swept rain made him want it…and her.  Passion an omnipresence in his life.




Simple words etched on a note: noon by the rock.  He crumpled the post-it and heaved a long three that carom onto the floor. It was half-past 11, and in a Pavlonian urge, he looked out the window. Grey and dank; from inside. Outside the sunless sky bore a fresh stillness hidden from others, as if to keep people indoors to keep its award for the ones who sought it.

15-till noon: his step slowed to an awkward limp. Each step towards noon at the rock masked a deafening bass line from within. Will it be the same he thought. Will it be better? Will it matter? His limp stooped into shaky baby steps, as he saw the rock. 5-till noon.

He could make out the silhouette from before. The salty sweetness pursed his lips.  The gaze. The intensity.

Noon: standing silently inside his room, wakened from the ring of the phone, he opened the crumpled note, and looked outside again.  It was noon.

Jam of the Day: Say Hello, Say Goodbye – David Gray


Prissy Prose Past Midnight (PST)

This is what happens when you listen to Bon Iver past midnight, a little inebriated from some soju sweetness:

Twenty thousand implosions within: a clench released into the dead of night. Her finger dangled over his arched back and traced a ginger line beneath the nether.  Both wondered.  It was done. Yes, no more.  No.


Let it linger.


Injunctive Relief

Can we get injunctive relief from the Gigantes losing anymore games?  Well, at least games that matter, and this deep into August with almost every team left on the SF Giants schedule, every game matters.  After tonight’s drubbing at the hands of the Phillies, the Giants have bequeathed their sole ownership of the NL Wild Card.  Would you like fries with that, sir?

Is it time to freak out? Yo no se, man…but with upcoming games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Reds, and our inability to friggin’ beat the Padres, yes, maybe it’s time to look into Spring Season 2011.  WTF…this season was evolving into a replica of that magical season in 2002, before, ahem…Game 7.  Still hurts.  Can’t go there.

Anyhoo, back to my WTF rant.  With the recent passing of a Giant legend, Bobby Thompson, is it possible that the Giants will win all their games in September to make the 3 game series against the Pads in October eerily similar to that 3-game playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers back in ’51?  Will we get another chance to see “Shot Heard Around the World” Part Deux??

Who knows, but I guess that’s the beauty of the game of beisbol.  She can lift your spirits to heights reserved for angels, or she can break your once impenetrable heart and fillet it into tender morsels of sashimi that would make Hannibal Lecter come in his pants.  Ugh…don’t know where that came from, but I digress.

Probably, more importantly, what is it with soju to bring me back for more, when obviously, the morning after I’m left looking haggard like a boxer going 15 rounds with Manny Pacquiao? WTF.

Maybe, I need injunctive relief from writing on this blog.

Maybe…I just need a double scotch…hold the rocks.

Jam for the Giants: “Comeback Kid” Silversun Pickups



Ah shit…just like Neo’s “whoa”, it’s another reincarnation of this site.  Seriously, what is this: Version 121.01 of restarting this thang?

Anyhoo – let’s do this up one more time, shall we?

Jam of the Day: “Prodigal Son” Steel Pulse


Ready to Rumble

Maybe the rivalry between the Dodgers/Giants really resides in the hearts and minds of its NorCal populace, but we’ll take this East Coast version of the Red Sox/Yankees dichotomy any day.

The annual NorCal/SoCal battle royale kicks off today, and I’m hoping the Gigantes can prove that this is the year that we wrestle the NL West title from the McCourt Imploders, um, Dodgers.  Just sayin’.

Jam of the Day: “Knives Out” Radiohead

June 2018
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