"Good morning, my love. Want to go play tennis?" It’s noon and overcast. A thick fog is everywhere. I’m squinting. I still have sleep-marks. On my face, my arms, everywhere. I’m tired. Last night I sat in the rain at a Round Rock Express baseball game. Minor Leagues, baby. I had an umbrella and was planted in row 1, beside the Omaha dugout. You know they have bathrooms inside the dugout. I saw men zipping up as they made their way out to stand on the grass and swing their weighted bats. One guy had calves that looked like small bulging dogs. Another, the bat boy, about fifteen years old, had a constellation of boils on his face, and he was chewing, "Is that dip? He just spit something black from his mouth."
"No way is that kid dipping."
"Well it’s not Big League Chew in there."
The players, we learned, were chewing and spitting out sunflower seeds. How healthy. How outdoorsy. How something you’d see in Austin. Maybe it was their version of a sun-dance, asking for the sky to clear by soiling the earth with sunflower seeds. It worked. The rain stopped.
Each time a player returned to the dugout, one of the young boys behind me would ask, "Hey number one three (instead of number thirteen), can I have your bat?" Or "ball," or "autograph?" I just wanted some of his sunflower seeds. I didn’t know they even sold those things anymore. I mean when’s the last you heard of someone buying seeds on purpose, someone without a green thumb? Exactly. I did, though, on some level, wish I had known someone throwing a Kentucky Derby party. I much rather had been sipping a mint julep than the watered-down (sorry we don’t give out straws) Diet Dr. Pepper. Though I will say, what a coup, having Diet Dr. Pepper on tap. This makes me think of the movies.
"Do I want to play tennis?" Unless he means a game of verbal tennis, where questions are ponged until a loser is declared by answering something instead of questioning it, well, then, "How about a day of movie hopping?"
"Don’t you want to do something active?"
"Don’t I have my period? Didn’t I just take Pamprin because my body hurts?"
"Wouldn’t you fall asleep if we just go sit in a dark theater?"
"Isn’t that the point?!"
"So what do you wan’t to do?"
"Wanna go to the outlets to shop for end tables and nightstands?"
"What time will you be ready?"
"Ya mean how long do I need?"
And this is our rain-dance. If it rains, it means I get to spend the day in the movie theater. "Isn’t movie hopping ‘something active?’ I mean, hopping is involved, right?" And usually so is Jack Daniels. I’d bring bourbon as a nod to the derby.