My bed is littered with patterns and colors - pale pinks, soft greens; a stark contrast to the black I’ve lived in during this grey blur of a winter. Packing for Florida should be easy - especially since it’s a short trip. And yet. Decisions must be made, because my carry-on, unlike my list of what-if’s, has limits.
You speak of sarongs like I speak of my 55-year-old well-oiled and cracked with age Rawling's "Finest in the Field" third-baseman's glove.
One day, perhaps after I turn 80, the Yankees will call. They're in game seven of the World Serious and have no subs left on their bench. They call me and I limp over to the 6-train, ancient leather in hand. I walk in to the big ballpark and assume my position--where Clete played, and Nettles, even Dr. Bobby Brown. I doff my hat. The Cognoscenti golf clap, a line drive screams by me, foul. Then another one.
With the reflexes of a Hermes or an Artemis, I Balanchine my body and snag the liner inches off the ground. Out three. I am pelted, thorns-out with rose stems, but I don't feel their sharp and cruel abrasions. Not after the greatest play in World Serious history has saved the day for the Highlanders.
The champagne flows in the locker room My cardiologist has me drinking Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray, but still I celebrate.
For when the great scorekeeper comes to pen your name,
He looks short, he looks long.
It's not how you played the game,
It's all about the sarong.
You, my beautiful friend, are a fucking 10 of a writer and a human. This is so very good, so rich and powerful.
I want to go back in time and get my own soft, warm, colorful sarong. I have a vivid memory of riding a boat to Fire Island. You, tanned, smiling, radiant, and donning that very orange sarong. Beautiful memory, beautiful story.
Oh my honey, every time I read another installment I say “this is my favorite one yet” but this time I mean it. God I never rooted for a swatch of fabric so hard — to be seen and loved for another twenty-five years. Am thinking of you today, sweetie. With love.