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There was a slow and steady beep and florescent light that woke me up and I thought it was my alarm and the morning sun.

“Italian food, ham, ham pea soup, bagel, veggie spread, vega protein, stevie ray,  general comedy, coffee, cigarettes, cheeseburgers, the internet, nice hats, ashtrays, partying, drinking beer, beer pong, Glock,  sports like hockey or baseball but only to play them, hate watching unless I am there live. I like going to see baseball games, I like all the people there leisurely drinking and talking and people only paying attention to the game when they notice everyone else is paying attention. Once I saw a guy get hit in the chest with a foul ball and spill his beer because he wasn’t paying attention, he was pissed but he knew it was his fault and his anger quickly subsided when his friend gave him a beer and they put a replay of him getting hit and spilling his beer on the big screen and the crowd went ‘ohhhhhhhh’ and laughed and cheered and he too laughed, and held his beer up and cheered. He watched the next pitch and after assuming the odds of getting struck again with a foul ball were comparable to the odds of getting struck by lighting or getting eaten by a shark, he continued to talk to his friends. I like golf too, but only in the evening with friends and beer drinking, but no competition because it kind of ruins the game. Okay maybe a little bit of competition, like longest drive. I like longest drive because I usually win, sometimes my friend Cole wins, but it’s rare; he only wins when I don’t hit the fairway. He usually hits the fairway but he cannot drive as far as I can. And there is Tony but he never participates because he never wins; he has a short awkward swing that is snappy and ill tempoed and can’t drive very far. He also gets angry and quiet when he hits poor shots, but not me, I couldn’t care less. He cheats on his scorecard too, doesn’t count his strokes. I find I hit my best drives when I just walk up to the tee and hit without thinking too much, otherwise: I usually get too focused on my stance; where my feet are placed in relation to the ball; how I am addressing the ball; is my club face too open or too closed; is my stance open or closed. The effect of the latter will either result in a draw or fade which is nice depending on if that is the type of shot you are trying to make. I have a natural fade which means the ball has a nice inside to outside arc and people always comment on the nice trajectory of my drive, it starts out low and has a nice rise. I can drive the ball on average of 340 yards which is higher than the PGA tour average at 310 yards; however, I could never compete because I don’t have a short game and that’s where most of the game is played. I had my swing speed measured once and the radar said I have a swing speed of 131 miles per hour and the PGA average is 110 miles per hour. I like boxing and mixed martial arts fights, I like watching knockout compilations where boxers get punched in the head so hard they blackout and their bodies are still responding to the fight due to muscle memory and they are lying on the canvas punching the air. A knockout occurs when the head is struck with such force that the brain, which is floating in a cerebral fluid inside the skull, bounces back and forth against the inside of the skull resulting in a massive neurotransmittic misfire that, from what I understand, shuts down the conscious brain putting it in safety mode and, in turn, makes it appear the person is dead. I saw this one clip of a Muay Thai fight where one of the fighters’ gets hit with a hard cross and as he is falling down gets kicked in the face and then he instantly rises up like a zombie even though he has been knocked unconscious.

        The downed opponent is rising even though he has been knocked unconscious.

I like watching drag racing clips where the motors blow up and the car crashes, I don’t like it sometimes because you know the drivers die. I know it is sad but I also feel like that’s just part of it and it’s a risk the drivers’ know is at stake. It definitely takes a certain type of person to devote their life to 4 seconds and 1320 feet. The National Hot Rod Association, or the NHRA for short,  shortened the length of the track from 1320 feet, or a quarter mile, to 1000 feet to reduce risk of injury and death after NHRA top fuel and funny car champion Scott Kalitta tragically died after crashing at 300 miles per hour. Top Fuel drag racing is the fastest category of drag racing and the average Top Fuel dragster will produce around nine to ten thousand brake horse power and accelerate from zero to one hundred miles per hour in under one second with the driver instantaneously experiencing four times the gravitational force that we feel on earth. The exhaust noise is so loud that it can be felt vibrating through your body from the grandstands and unprotected ear drums may become severely damaged. Uhm what else do I like, I like riding my bike in and out of traffic and holding onto the side of a car so I don’t have to pedal, it's a little dangerous sometimes but it's well worth the risk.”

    

I began to speak with a cadence that steadied to the beep of the heart monitor such as a pianist with a metronome.

“I don’t take a lot of risks, only calculated ones. I like movies, I like hollywood movies, indy movies, American Psycho! I love American Psycho, never read the book though, someone said you can only do one or the other because if you do both you will just jump back and forth trying to define which one is better and end up ruining the story entirely so I had already read the movie I mean seen the movie so I guess I can’t write the book I mean read the book; too bad because it has a great cover it looks like a francis bacon painting. I love france and I love bacon. but I don’t like french bacon as much as american bacon, french bacon is not crispy and it is too thick sometimes. It is like ham and ham is only good at christmas with the family because everybody is happy, I mean everybody looks happy. My mom always looks happy and she loves me a lot but I wonder sometimes if she is happy because she is always busy caring for others. She is very accommodating and very kind. She gets stressed quite a bit during holidays because she likes to have big parties and invite all her friends over but it always gets really stressful because my dad is like a sack of hammers in the kitchen so I end up helping a lot of the time but sometimes I am either too drunk or too stoned. she taught me to cook at an early age. I like to cook and I am good at it, I don’t have to try and I can just cook and I don’t over season or over salt. One time I over seasoned a piece of beef with too much soy sauce and all I could taste was soy sauce so I took everyone’s plate away and ordered two large pizzas; one hawaiian and one pepperoni. They are the two best flavours because they are classic. Not a lot of people like hawaiian pizza and I don’t understand what all the confusion is about the marrying of the two ingredients: ham and pineapple. It is the perfect marriage like cigarettes and coffee or beer and hotdogs. Hawaiians sometimes eat pork with cooked or grilled pineapple and the pineapple is a nice and sweet balance to the naturally salty pig meat. I read, or did I hear somewhere that human meat tastes like pork and i’ve often thought about under what circumstance would be required for me to try such a meat. I also heard from my friend Steve Goozer that cannibalistic tribes refer to human meat as ‘long pig’ but despite the mouth watering comparison between the two I still find myself cringing at the thought. Steve and I are good friends, he knows a lot of weird things. Sometimes he tells me things that I like and sometimes he tells me things that I try to forget. Some people I know put pasta in a pot with cold water then turn it on and ask how long it takes to boil water. I think to myself ‘are you stupid’? There are a multiple factors that have to be considered when you boil water like how much water how big is the burner what is the surface area of the bottom of the pot, what is the heat source. I hate cooking on electric coil stoves when I am over at a girl’s house because I told them I want to make them dinner because I know it will most likely be better than the restaurant they choose. I don’t really like to take a girl out to the restaurants I like unless I really care about them, and there are about 3 friends who are girls and 1 in particular who I want to take out because I am in love with her but I cannot. Coil stoves take forever to heat up and are very inconsistent they also shut on and off periodically. Coil stoves are for people who only need to heat up food that has already been prepared and stoners who live in grungy appartments who use them for hot knifing hash; that is their only purpose. Canadian bacon on the other hand is like tenderloin and it is always very dry but it is good when it is sliced thin and cooked crisp but not too thin and not too crisp. If you have not tried it it is also called peameal bacon because it is rolled in peameal which is like cornmeal I think, maybe it's the same thing just the Canadian version, I don’t know. I remember reading somewhere that the BLT sandwich was originally an open faced style tea sandwich; I like tea sandwiches because they are bite sized, I also like canapés because they are bite sized, I like bite sized foods. And that they became popular after World War Two with the fruition of the supermarket which made ingredients available year round. I don’t really understand how the two correlate but whatever. The B-L-T was adapted from the shorthand style ordering in diners, B obviously short for bacon, L short for lettuce and tomato is the T and I guess it just caught on. It always fascinated me how things just caught on like that and spread like California wildfire before the internet existed. Do you remember that weird ‘S’ insert S drawing that everyone drew when we were in elementary school? Where did that even come from, no one will ever know. I always dreamed of opening a restaurant, well maybe not a restaurant, maybe a diner or a cafe. It would have a very small menu and I would have a BLT on it and I would use pork belly which I guess is just thick cut bacon really, but I would make sure all the ratios were adequate and no unripened tomato was used and the bread toasted crisp yet forgiving to the bite. Canadian bacon BLT’s are very good because they have more sustenance than the classic. I know it is subjective, just like everything in life, but classic BLT’s require a lot of bacon strips to make the sandwich worth your while. On the typical BLT’s I have encountered they usually consist of 4 lousy stale strips of poor grade bacon, a lumpy piece of iceberg lettuce that usually is mainly the leaf’s stem, a couple slices of unripened bland beefsteak tomato,  and an unruly amount of mayonnaise all between dry toast. Canadian versions in general are usually worse than their counterpart the American version for lots of reasons, reasons that seem to be slipping my mind because I feel tired, I feel like I have not slept in weeks and I have a headache.”

“That’s because you’ve been in an accident, don’t you remember? And they’ve been filling you with pain medication,” Jane said somewhat comfortingly as she grabbed hold of my hand, which was at my side. She looked vaguely worried but relieved that I was awake.

“Anyway I tried pills I tried taking caffeine pills but they don't work. I tried lots of things too I tried doing strenuous activity right before bed, like masturbating, I tried to just keep masturbating after I came to see how long it would take the seminiferous tubules in my testes to produce more sperm for me to ejaculate so I could come again in hopes that I would be that much more exhausted and have little to zero trouble passing out because that usually does the trick, just like after sex you sometimes are either really awake or really tired. I guess it depends whether or not you had sex at night or in the morning. If you have sex in the morning especially if you had sex the night before, it is really nice because you usually care about the person enough to have let them spend the night and I like caring about people. Sometimes when you have sex with someone you don't really care about (physically yes, but emotionally not really, I mean in the sense that I don't want to or wouldn’t want to cause or have harm come upon them in any form, I mean I just don't care about them really and they can leave right after we have sex) it is like watching porn. I feel like a porn actor and that there are usually no limits as to what deviant acts can be committed but sometimes porn makes me sick and sad. Maybe also that is different when your time is on the clock and you only have 200 dollars in your wallet, but who knows really. When sex is a one night stand it is fun and it is empty and ‘no strings attached’, sometimes I like one night stands because I don't really like spending time with people. Sometimes they stay after sex but I could never sleep because it felt like there was a stranger in my bed and that makes me uncomfortable because the only person that I want in my bed is unable to be in my bed.  There is one friend I have who I see once every week and I pick her up after she goes to the club. I really like our relationship because I pick her up at the club late at night or really early in the morning, depending on how you frame it, and she will be standing out front with guys trying to talk to her and I pull up in my car and she gets in and the guys stand there looking defeated and I know that they are angry and will probably go home and masturbate to porn then pass out. We usually stop for a late night snack at either the 24 hr diner and share pancakes or waffles and eggs and bacon, she likes the hash browns the best and usually only eats them, sometimes with ketchup. I asked her once why she only uses ketchup sometimes and she said it’s because ketchup is bad for your skin. I rarely eat ketchup now. I usually end up eating the majority of the meal because I know I will need the energy. Sometimes if she is really horny we just stop at mcdonalds. I usually get a mcdouble or a mcdouble dressed like a mac. Dressed like a mac means to add the dressings of the hallmark burger, the Big Mac, to whichever burger you desire. A Big Mac consists of (in order from bottom up): a bottom bum, big mac sauce (which is an exquisitely refined mixture of mayonnaise, french dressing, sweet pickle relish, micro diced white onion, white vinegar, sugar and salt) finely diced white onion, shredded lettuce, a single cheese slice, a 100% beef patty, the remarkable middle bun, Big Mac sauce, shredded lettuce, two slices of pickle, the final 100% beef patty and the top of a sesame seed bun. If I get a regular McDouble I ask them to put it in the microwave so as to melt the cheese. Sometimes when you get it and it’s fresh the cheese hasn’t had a chance to melt yet and the corners have broken off during the wrapping process so they fall onto my lap when I unwrap the mcdouble which can be dangerous because I like to eat while I drive and the falling cheese bits sometimes distract me. The McDouble dressed like a Mac is far more dangerous to eat while driving simply because of the shredded lettuce which, regardless of prodigious care, will always end up in one of three places: my lap; in between my legs and slightly wedged beneath my groin; or on my sleeve (unlike the first two locations the latter can be particularly dangerous due to the fact that I will raise my sleeve to my mouth so as to vacuum up the astrayed lettuce by pursing my lips much akin to the lip structure required to play a flute and while in the process also temporarily blocking my vision with the McDouble dressed like a Mac. As we all know accidents can occur in the blink of an eye and while the odds of tragedy occurring during the time it takes me to retrieve the fallen lettuce from my sleeve are slim at best, the odds of major catastrophe are fairly high if in fact an accident were to occur during the period of lettuce retrieval due to speeding and lack of seatbelts. When this inevitably happens I can only dream that the piece of lettuce has dissociated itself from the McDouble dressed like a Mac sans reminiscence of any Big Mac sauce so as to not cause any further distractions to my ability to keep the car straight and in the center of the lane. The Big Mac is the most unique and premier proprietary burger offered by a fast food restaurant. With that being said, each fast food chain has a time and place and under certain circumstances I may retract my statement from earlier. I like to bite the mcdouble and look at the patties as the grease oozes out from the section where I had just bitten and I like to see my teeth marks in the translucent bun. These are things I notice. Sometimes it is dangerous because I stare at the mcdouble while I am driving. Sometimes they inaccurately put the dollop of ketchup on the mcdouble and it blankets one side of the bun and gets on my lips and when I look over at the girl she laughs because there is ketchup on the side of my mouth and she jokingly tells me I look like a retard. Sometimes when I see people who are born with handicaps or disabilities I feel sad and sorry and people tell me that it is okay to feel this way as long as I know that I am very fortunate to be able bodied and almost 6 foot 2. I try not to take things for granted and sometimes I feel people take their thumbs for granted. That’s why I always give the thumb’s up even when it is not warranted because I wouldn’t know how else to tell someone they did a good job or that I am ok when I am really not without promoting my pollex digiti skyward. Pollex is latin for thumb and digiti is latin for digit; I googled it once. She usually only gets a medium french fries; she only likes potatoes i guess. You would never know she eats fast food though because she is slim and small, maybe five foot three, and i am 6 foot two with doc martens on, almost 6 foot three but it depends if I am standing straight which also correlates with my mood. If I am sad and depressed I tend to slouch a little. My friends who I see once in while will notice and ask if everything is okay, this is a nice feeling because it’s nice to know that people are concerned, I usually lie and say everything is okay because I know my depression is normal and that it is just part of life and that everyone else gets a little bit depressed and blue or ‘down ‘n’ out’, as they say. I only really care about tall people, someone once said I was heightist. Sometimes she doesn’t want to stop for food but I will stop and get a McDouble anyway because I am usually hungry at the time, hungry because I either haven’t eaten since dinner, which is usually anywhere from 6 to 8 o’clock and by the time I pick her up it is usually 2 to 3am, or I am stoned and have the munchies. It is usually the latter because I am usually stoned at night because my dealer said the weed he gives me is supposed to make you sleep, but all it does is makes me hungry and think weird thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts are so weird that I will not share them with my friends, even my best ones. Sometimes i am tired and want to go to sleep but I know the girl wants to meet up late at night so I will get a little bit of cocaine from my neighbor, just enough to keep me awake. I like to think I have good self control because I am able to just do a little bit of cocaine, just enough to keep me awake. When she doesn’t get anything to eat sometimes she will give me a blowjob during the commute back to my apartment, but not long enough for me to come, just long enough to edge me. When we get back to my apartment I usually open a bottle of wine, nothing too special because i know it will not get finished, she is also not a wine connoisseur so she never knows the difference. I usually drink most of it and she maybe has one glass, if that. We usually sit in the living room for a bit and i’ll listen to her as she tells me about her night. It’s usually the same story; guys’ buy her shots and drinks and she does the shot or takes the drink then says she has to go to the bathroom and disappears into a cluster of sweaty bodies and eagerly predatorial faces wrought with desperation. Sometimes she says the guys will find her later and ask why she went and hid and she tells them that she is happy to see them and that she had been looking for them, she is good at saying that, she is good at giving them the sense of hope, a hope that is foiled by its insincerity and a hope that pertains only to the fact that they think deep down they will get laid that night. Sometimes she will take their number and continue to text them after i have picked her up and i think of how i wished people would ask for my number sometimes. Sometimes we will sit and drink wine and she will show me the messages and the countless photos of erect penises she unwarrantedly receives; she always laughs. Sometimes the penises she shows me look weird and she will laugh and tell them they have a weird penis and they usually respond by calling her a bitch or a whore and that makes her laugh even more. I would tell her that can really hurt their feelings and she says fuck you and that they’re the ones harassing by sending the unwanted nude photos and i know she is right and i agree. I feel bad for the weird penises. she’ll ask how my day was and I usually tell her it was good and sometimes I am honest, but most of the time I am not because I know it is neither the time nor the place for feelings. It is an ongoing joke between us that we ask each other if we want to talk about our feelings after we have sex and their is mutual laughter followed by a short but un awkward pause. After we finish talking and drinking wine in the living room of my apartment we go to my bedroom. it always fascinated me how quickly she was able to get undressed and climb into my bed. I have a king size bed, it is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long and my shoulders are 19 inches wide. That means four of me could fit side by side on my bed. I don’t know how wide her shoulders are but she is small. She always had fancy lace underwear on and she would sometimes ask me ahead of time what color i wanted her to wear. I never really cared too much so i usually said red or black or pink. Sometimes her panties had a hole sewn into the crotch so we could have sex while she kept them on, other times she would just pull them aside. I didn’t really like when she took them off because i felt that you should only be completely naked and vulnerable with someone that you love and care deeply about and i didn’t love or care deeply about her; although, i do care about her as a friend. I liked when she kept her underwear on because i liked to look at the intricate design work in the lace and i would think of how delicate it is and how hard it would be to make women’s underwear and all the different sizes and body shapes you would have to accommodate. I would also often think about making women’s shoes while we had sex, and all the steps and different techniques there were that went into making them. Like what style would I make: would I make a stiletto; would I make a wedge; would I make a platform; or would I make a high heel. I always liked the look of a nice crimson red high heel but I never wanted to make one; they are classic. I often thought about one of the people I love and care deeply about wearing a pair of shoes I made for them and that excited me and made me happy. I would think about what her face would look like when I showed them to her and the way she would turn and twist her legs in front of a mirror to see how they looked while she thought about what outfit would go with them. I thought about what people would say when she told them I made them for her, mostly good things. Before I could get into bed she would usually have chosen a movie to put on for what i always understood the purpose was for background noise and light, but never music though. We never had sex in the quiet and in the dark. She says she doesn’t really listen to music and that the music she listens to I don’t like. I always thought that was considerate because I don’t like listening to music that I don’t like. She would usually choose movies that I didn’t like and rarely choose movies I liked. I had mostly never seen the movies she chose because they were usually bad and I don’t like bad movies. We never watched the movie anyway because we would usually begin to have sex during the opening credits and continue to have sex on and off only to stop and pay attention to the movie periodically for breaks. We would experiment with all sorts of positions often mimicking the ones we had seen in porn, but never watching porn while we had sex. She would come then I would come and I would always make sure to give her a warm cloth to clean herself because I know if I had to wipe semen off of my body I would like to use a warm cloth. She would say I was very considerate. Sometimes she would fool around and pretend to wipe the cloth on my face and it would make me gag, the smell semi sweet and unique in its own way. Sometimes she would sleep for a bit then call a cab early in the morning but usually she would call a cab right after or i would drive her home if was sober enough, which I usually was. I enjoy the friendship we have but other times i wish strings were attached, just not with her. still it’s nice when there are no strings attached. sometimes this leads to a short lived bout of depression caused by my deep longing for a partner, a partner where we mutually want to stay in bed and look at each other after having sex and study the curvature of each other's upper lip and fall asleep and then wake up in the morning and have sex again and then maybe get dressed and go out for the day. sometimes after i have sex with a friend with mutual understanding I pretend that they are someone I care about. I like it when i wake up in the morning with a friend beside me in bed and they facing the other way so i can stare at the back of their head and imagine it is someone else. sometimes most of the time i imagine it being someone that i care deeply about and wish it was them in the bed facing away from me, knowing that shortly after waking up i will tap them on the shoulder and quietly ask them if they want coffee, even if they are sleeping. i wish that if i did this that they would not mind being woken up by my inquiry. sometimes it's the little things in relationships that i long for the most and not the public displays of affection or the couples nights or the fancy dinner dates or the travelling or the meeting the parents or the shopping with or the buying flowers and apologizing for being an asshole, but the part where i can tap them on the shoulder while they are waking up and asking them if they want coffee.  i had a girlfriend once and she was amazing and our relationship was fruitful. we met in an almost woody allen like situation. it was at a wedding and it was out of nowhere and it was unexpected; but of course that last part is redundant. We had a very good relationship and we were very kind to each other. I only liked spending time with her and i liked her because she laughed at me especially when i was acting like a dumbass and i liked her smile and her eyes and her nose and her hair and she had a good body and she was beautiful. We told each other we loved one another but we grew to realize that our love for one another was that of friendship. We never fought, maybe once, and we rarely disagreed. We fought once because I have communication issues, issues that i think were passed down from my parents because we too had communication issues and they were hardly around. We ended our relationship because I had to move away for training camp.”
    “Yeah I remember, you told me”

“I also tried doing about 50 pushups followed by 50 sit ups followed by 50 burpees as fast as possible to hopefully pass out from the exhaustion. A burpee is a somewhat rigorous exercise where you are in full prone and you jump up to standing position and in one fluid motion jump up while reaching for the stars only to fall back down and resume prone. Sometimes i wouldn’t be paying attention and I would jump up and my hands would get smacked by the ceiling fan but it never hurt. I always liked that expression reaching for the stars. Or was it jumping for the stars? I think it was both. I remember somebody i don’t remember who, but they said ‘you know if you jump for the’ oh i remember what it was, it was aim for the moon and you will land among the stars. I never quite understood it, to me it was kind of  like failing to reach something and settling for something sub par. Is the moon better than the stars? I recently watched a conspiracy documentary about the apollo missions during the cold war and they laid out all these pseudo facts that were somewhat convincing. There is also a lot of conspiracy about Kennedy’s assassination, it’s all too crazy to comprehend. At the end of the day he was just doing what he loved, being in the spotlight, and next thing he knows, or i guess doesn’t know, he gets his head blown apart. And there is very clear footage of it too that is very graphic, my friend didn’t know it existed and asked me to show him once and he said it made him nauseous. I remember the first time i saw it i felt nauseous too but it doesn’t make me nauseous anymore. Anyway, apparently it was all because of the ‘space race’ because russia was first to put a satellite into the earth’s orbit so America wanted to be first on the moon. The russian satellite was called Sputnik but i thought it was spudnik, like a potato or something. They talked about multiple angels of shadows, oops i meant angles not angels. They talked about how if you double the speed of the footage it looks like they’re running around at normal speed. They talked about how there is no blast crater from landing and also when the pod takes off back into space it does look really weird it looked like the pod was pulled up from somewhere by cables and it jitters around as if the multiple winches were activated at different times and speeds resulting in the pod to sway as it was being lifted and i always wondered why the cameras were crooked. I guess in all fairness they are astronauts not photographers. I often think about how many conspiracies are actually true and if the truth will come out in my lifetime but i guess who cares really. Someone said to me once that Noam Chomsky actually worked for the CIA because he was always so quick to brush off conspiracy theory related to the government and say ‘who cares’”
    “Do you really not remember the accident?”
    “What accident, what day is it, I have a game on monday, I’m fine. What accident?”
    “You and Kevin crashed in his car trying to race a train over the tracks and you didn’t have your seatbelt on which ironically enough saved your life because there was also a semi truck coming and it clipped the car i guess and you flew out of the window and landed on an old tempurpedic mattress that was in the ditch which was dry because we are in a draught, you know those mattresses that were desi-”
    “Yeah the mattress with the memory foam, the ones’ that were designed by NASA or something. so, Is Kevin dead?”
    “No, well, kind of, but not really. He was decapitated but it was a clean decapitation and his body and head were pretty much unscratched. Lucky that they just recently performed the first head transplant last month at the University Hospital and the doctor’s think they can re attach his head. University Hospitals are SO progressive. And the truck that hit you guys’ was a meat truck so they were able to keep his body and head preserved although doctors say that there is a slight possibility he might lose hearing in his right ear which is unfortunate because that’s the ear he uses his Bluetooth earpiece with.”
    “right , i remember reading about that.” I lied, i had only read the headline on the internet, i feel like no one reads the actual article anymore, just the headline.
    “So you remember that at least, that’s good,  just your memory leading up to the accident is gone.” said Jane with relief but also still with an undertone of concern.
    “Yeah i guess so. Wait, i had eggs that morning, and oatmeal with berries and one whole banana. I had eggs, two of them, over easy and crisp on the edge, with a piece of sharp cheddar and a tomato slice, and whole grain toast with butter, then i got stoned” but i was lying because i have eggs every morning, it’s part of my diet that my pitching coach has me on. You must have plenty of carbohydrates well balanced with protein for breakfast after a good night’s rest, approximately 7.5-9 hours is good for me. Good food choices for breakfast are fruits, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, low fat milk, or almond milk, and bacon. A well balanced breakfast will help give you energy right from the start of the day. I usually snack a couple hours after breakfast after my morning run with a protein bar or dehydrate fruit leathers, it helps keep my energy levels high. At lunch i have to keep the calorie count low. Usually i’ll eat only fruits of vegetables, sometimes a light pasta dish or sometimes a cobb salad because it is also a nutritious source of protein, vitamins and minerals that is low in calories. It’s essential to maximize nutrient intake while not going overboard on calories. Ill usually eat another snack a few hours after lunch in the mid afternoon. For my final meal of the day i have to choose ingredients that are well-balanced and protein rich, good fiber, healthy fats, vitamin rich and a good amount of carbohydrates. Usually rib eye steak, an avocado, grilled jalapenos, brown rice and a mango, or coconut ice-cream for dessert.”
    “Yeah, but you have eggs every morning. Two of them over easy and crisp on the edge...I make them for you, every morning. And it’s friday, they brought you in yesterday. I talked to your parents by the way, your mom is in france again and your dad is obviously in palm springs”. Jane is my nanny and she is five foot eleven with the build of a woman who looks like she was a gymnast during her teen years; she is greco russian and beautiful and has long fingers that are alienesque and always well manicured and a new color each week. She is two years older than me and we met on craigslist, she is 30 and she takes care of me and she was the only one that responded to my ad. She told me her father is a Russian Oligarch (who i suspect also has ties to the mafia) and her mother was a model during the early 80’s. She said she wanted the job of my caretaker because she is bored and that she doesn’t need to work for a living and even though i insist, she does not let me pay her.    *******make craigslist ad for nanny and include screenshot******
    “Well i guess a TGIF is in order. So what now? I am fine, when can i leave i want to get in a throwing session before the game on monday, Jim said the scouts from LA are gonna be there to give me another chance. Do you have your ipad? I need to study Randy some more i don’t understand his mechanics, oh nevermind I don’t have a mirror. Did you know that since he has retired he passes time by taking nature photography? What an idiot”!

Randy Johnson is a lefty and I am a righty so I watch his highlights in the reflection of a mirror so it is easier to mimic and study and understand his mechanics. Randy is a five time recipient of the Cy Young Award, which is given to the best pitcher, and has one of the best sliders in history, it has a nice late break (he is also six foot ten inches which gives him the great gravitational advantage of having to throw downwards as opposed to outwards); he also has a career high of four thousand eight hundred and seventy five strikeouts. He throws ten to four whereas traditional pitchers will tend to throw eleven to five or even twelve to six like Jason Verlander or Clayton Kershaw who have an almost grotesquely deceiving curveball. They typically throw a sinking breaking ball whereas ten to four pitchers tend to throw out to in breaking balls, both are still technically curveballs, however, Randy and I both throw excellent sliders (here is a link to a clip of Randy throwing a slider that makes Kenny Lofton flinch and duck out of the way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLGrymeEDy4). I throw from around ten thirty but I will eschew further explanation on the mechanics and fundamentals of the ways in which i aim to deceive an individual at bat.

“Well we have to wait for the test results. The doctor said they would take a day or two but he said that everything appears to be a-ok and in working order. They also want to do an MRI scan because you were knocked unconscious from the accident and they want to make sure that you haven’t suffered any brain damage, although from what I can tell it doesn’t appear you have.”
    “What time is it”?

“It’s seven and we should probably get you something to eat, well I should, what do you want? I don’t want you eating the hospital food, I can go get something or I can go home and prepare you your dietary supper if you would like, although i feel that seeing how you were just in an accident a cheat day is acceptable.”
    “It is friday and I am jonesing for a mcdouble. Actually i want one regular mcdouble and one mcdouble dressed like a Mac.”
    “Did you want the meal, there is so much salt on the fries i don’t think you should get fries.”
    “Yeah, get the french fries I know you’ll eat them if they are here, just ask for fresh ones and to only lightly salt them, they’ll do it, i’ve done it before. Plus I want to eat some later when they are cold and soggy and semi translucent from the oil.”
    “You are very strange... I’ll be back in a short while, I have to stop at my apartment to shower and get a change of clothes for tomorrow. In the meantime the remote is right there if you want to watch tv.”
    “You don’t have to stay, it’s all right, I am fine,” i lied, i was alright but i did not want to be alone in case the test results came back and they found out something was severely wrong like a brain tumor or something worse.
    “Well we don’t know that yet, but I don’t mind, I don’t have anything else to do.”
    Jane left and as I watched her leave I began to think of her nice apartment and the first time we met and the nice art deco furniture she had and her Crayola Forest Green walls. She lived on the North side of the city across the bridge and her apartment was on the 20th floor, the top floor, and it was a penthouse that faced south towards downtown but also had east to west views and a wrap around balcony; she invited me over to meet her for the first time about a year ago when she responded to my craigslist ad about being my part time caretaker. I needed one because I had become too preoccupied with training and too lazy to take care of myself and do my weekly chores and she ended up doing it full time but with no benefits. Her apartment was, and still is, immaculate, and it seemed like it had been, and still is, the set of an interior design editorial. When I told her this she said it had been featured in Elle Decor twice and Interior Design once; she did all the interior decorating herself; it was very Postmodern and she was very humble about it. The base of her coffee table was imported from Italy and is a small boulder sized chunk of obsidian with a piece of glass on top that rests on bronze castings of dainty and long pinkie fingers which are affixed to the obsidian in such manner that they appear to continue deep into the rock’s core; it is very Lynchian but less predictable. Her apartment is always dimly lit with warm light that made it always feel like the sun was setting despite the weather or the time of day and she always has Santo and Johnny music ambiently playing in the walls which she says gives her the comforting feeling of having an old couple for neighbors and living in the tropics during the 60’s. Upon first glance the kitchen cabinets and fridge are all faced with what appears to be a steady flow of crude oil when they are in fact a wavy gloss black acrylic facade and the handles are bronze castings of an index finger that is shaped in a downward facing hook position; I can’t imagine the amount of windex Jane uses a month, or even per day to keep the cabinets free of unwanted markings. She has two large sofas that are upholstered in a deep button plush black suede; you can easily sleep two per couch. I like Jane’s apartment, it is far more nicer than mine and I also like Jane because she is a good friend and hard worker. My apartment is an elongated one bedroom apartment in Tsaw Heights; the ‘T’ is silent but people tend to separate it and pronounce it phonetically as Tee-Saw. My apartment is above a gentle men’s fetish club called Soft Touch (it is not what you think, it is a fetish club for people who like to be held or cradled or have any sort of soft body contact by/with bodybuilders who are golden brown and hardbodied (I often think of a perfectly roasted chicken where the skin is taut and frangible) and smell of quasi tropical beaches and coconut (they also have a glass enclosure equipped with coconut oil misters if you are so inclined to be held while slick and wet), sometimes I will go just to have a Budweiser because they have it on tap, plus they have tropical Little Trees air fresheners hanging from the ceiling and Hawaiian Breeze® scented Glade plug-ins annexed at every outlet in sight; the smell is disturbingly overwhelming and they play Santo and Johnny on repeat but I like it because it reminds me of a cab in Maui. I hear Maui has the best cabs) and used to be a private bowling alley with two lanes but has since been converted for residential use. It is fifteen feet wide and one hundred feet long which allows me to have a regulation pitching stretch; the mound, sixty feet and six inches of clear unadulterated space, and a home plate with a hanging rubber mat with a white rectangle to mimic the strike zone. It is also fitted with three cameras that record me from above, the side, and from home plate. This allows my pitching coach to watch me via Skype. It also features a conveyor belt style ball return system that has lots of moving parts and squeaking wheels and pulleys which I designed and built myself and it is patent pending. On the wall beside the mound I have a ceiling mounted projector so I am able to watch clips of Randy in life size on my wall and pretend like I am right there beside him. My bathroom has a jacuzzi style tub that rarely gets used.

The channel selection on the University hospital’s television was unexceptional at best for an institution at this day and age, they only had one channel: NTV which was Nostalgia Television. Because I did not want to stare at the poorly kempt, corn riddled and bunioned feet poking past the curtain and belonging to the person sharing the room with me I decided to watch Jeopardy reruns from the 80’s on NTV. They were playing the famous episode where Julie Smith is robbed of her three year reign as JEOPARDY! champion by her autistic brother and I remember reading about this in an article, it was something about her not being able to answer any animal related questions and the majority of questions on that final episode were related to animals. Something about her studying encyclopedias as a child and her brother only read the one about animals.  After she lost it came out in the news that Julie Smith was a lesbian and dating Faye Goddard who was in charge of creating the trivia used in the show and whose mother was also a producer or manager of some sort I think. Julie had over 700 wins and millions in prize money that she spent on care for her brother. Despite the JEOPARDY! reruns I could not keep myself from staring over at my neighbors feet and I wondered how someone could let their feet get to such an appalling state, it was outrageous and offensive. I decided that I felt the need to investigate purely out of self indulgence and as I pulled back the curtain a nurse walked in and I saw a pair of legs just lying on the bed with bandages wrapped around mid thigh.
    “It’s a shame isn’t it? They had to amputate his body from the legs up, he’s not going to be able to hear his children’s first words or see their first steps. His wife is in the maternity ward, she just gave birth to beautiful twins; one is a boy and the other is a girl.”
    “Yeah, terrible, what happened?” I said monotonically as I was staring at the wall, listening to the heart monitor beep and busy thinking about how that for a split instant, the second twin was the youngest person in the world.

“We don’t know, he came in saying he had chronic chest pain and the doctor said the only option was to amputate the chest and head and because there was nothing left to attach the arms to, they too had to go. So, he’s just legs now. You know how University hospitals are these days, SO progressive.”

I pondered on the idea of what it would be like to be a pair of legs that had to be wheeled around everywhere and what your quality of life would be like. I couldn’t imagine but felt it would be awful. Then Jane was back and I could smell the burgers before she entered the room.
    “Did you bring some for me?” joked the nurse and Jane was unimpressed and did not even smirk.
    “No, and you can leave now, I want to be alone with my husband.” the nurse glared, then left quietly.
    “Your husband?” I was confused and thought of how hard I must’ve hit my head to forget I had a wife.
    “Relax, I had to tell them you were my husband, it was the only way I was allowed to stay.”  
    “What if we just got married-” i asked half jokingly but Jane pretended to ignore me and before giving me one of my burgers, asked which one I wanted first.

“Just the regular McDouble, thanks,” as she handed it to me I could feel that it was warm and soft and knew that she had gotten them to microwave it so as to melt the cheese. A Mcdouble had never tasted so good.
    “I have to confess, I had to have a bite of the McDouble dressed like a mac, I wanted to see what the fuss was about. And you’re right, I tried it while i was driving and the lettuce fell on my lap, I almost crashed.”
    “See I told you! Did you enjoy it? You might as well just eat it, it’s all right I’m not hungry,” she acknowledged and I was lying because deep down I was craving it but also knew that the reminiscence of Big Mac flavor in Jane’s mouth was teasing all ten thousand tastebuds and that she too, deep down, wanted it. Making her happy was more important than my hunger and I still had the fries. After we ate we talked shortly about mentally preparing for my game on Monday and that she assured me the scouts from LA would undoubtedly draft me. After we talked we watched a Friends episode from season one and I was tired so I fell asleep.























Ch 2


I woke up at about eight o’clock to the sight and smell of Jane waving a cup of black coffee under my nose and I could feel the heat radiating through the cup and onto my face. I was kind of pissed she woke me up because I was in the middle of a good dream; I dreamt I was at the beach and I was throwing baseballs at people while they were trying to ‘slackline’ and they called me “loser” and “douchebag”.
    “Wake up I brought you coffee,” she was smirking, “must’ve been a good dream,” she said sarcastically as she turned around to walk over to her bag which was behind me in the corner beside all the monitoring equipment. As I was thinking about my dream I looked down and noticed that I had an erection.
    “Yeah you’re right, it was a good dream, it was about you. Thanks for the coffee,” I lied semi-flirtatiously over my shoulder brow raised knowing Jane would think it was funny.
    “Shut up! You are sick!” she said wide eyed and smiling “The doctor came in about a half hour ago but you were still sleeping, he said he would be back anytime now but you know how doctors are.”
    Even though I had just woken up I was already ancy and slightly more nervous because she didn’t wake me up when the doctor came initially, but with that said I guess that means there is nothing wrong. Then the doctor walked in.
    “Good morning Mr. Jonson, I’m Dr. Wallace”
    “Ehh, what’s up Doc? Get it? Like the rabbit... Please, call me Jon,”
    “Okay, Jon. Well I’ve got some good news and I’ve also got some bad news, which do you want to hear first?” said the doctor with a dumbass smirk on his face that was almost smug enough to make you want to slap him but his terrible haircut was his saving grace and you could tell he was being sincere.
    “You’re kidding right? Give it to me straight Doc, i’ve been here for two days and I am fine.”
    “You know I’m a comedian too, it is how I pay the bills *crickets*… anyway... well good news is that you’re fine and there is nothing wrong with your body and you can go home. Bad news is there is a piece of memory foam lodged in the center of your frontal lobe, it looks like a shrunken piece of swiss cheese. And since we didn’t notice any problems with the MRI scan we decided to leave it, however, if you notice you are getting headaches come in immediately.”
    “And what about Kevin is he okay?”
    “Yes the the surgery was successful and we were able to reattach his head, we will keep him in an induced coma to help the healing process for at least five to six, maybe seven, eight days, nine, ten, two weeks tops. But if you’ll excuse me I have other patients to attend too.”
    “Thank you Doctor. Okay Jon, that’s good, get up and get dressed, let’s go I hate hospitals.”

It took me a second to process what the Doc said about the small piece of memory foam lodged in my brain and how it was even possible and that he never told me how big it was and for some reason that mattered to me. I got up and put on my clothes that Jane had brought me which oddly enough were the clothes I would have chosen myself, she knew me like the back of her own hand but after all it was her job to. As I walked passed the bed where the legs were lying I noticed that they had been rearranged as if now his feet were being treated as his head(s) and they were on a pillow; I thought about his poor children that would have to be tucked in and kissed goodnight by a pair of feet and wondered if he would carry on his day with socks and shoes or just barefoot. We walked through the hallways decorated with the neutral artwork that might as well have just been blank wall and down through the lobby passed all the people sitting and waiting for either good news or bad news or both, passed the overpriced gift shop and out the door and Jane told me to wait there while she went and got her car but I followed.
    

She had just bought a brand new Lincoln Continental which is what I feel to be one of the most elegant automobiles available and is the Cadillac of luxury cars and far more superior than its european counterparts; her’s is Black with a black leather interior and walnut trim. Normally I would sit in the back as it makes me feel more important but I decided to sit in the front because there is more legroom and I wanted to look at all the gadgets on the dashboard. There are five, maybe six people I feel comfortable being a passenger with and Jane is one of them; she is a good driver and I never question her moves. She drives faster than average on occasion and does not jerk the wheel. She is easy on the accelerator and does not pump the brakes which offers for a smooth and enjoyable ride. Sometimes she will pump the brakes when I am eating or drinking so as to make me spill on my lap and then proceed to emasculatingly yell at me and make me clean and vacuum her entire car at a gas station so it would appear I am working for her when in fact she is working for me and that I have been a bad boy but in reality she is joking and it is done in good taste; Jane has a very good sense of humour. Sometimes I like when the roles are switched because it keeps me on my toes and I feel that men need to be put in their place. Sometimes Jane also makes me clean her apartment in the nude while wearing a gimp mask while she sits on her plush suede couch with her feet up on her obsidian coffee table, that was imported from Italy, and will ash onto the floor and make me clean it up with my mouth and sardonically ask ‘who’s a good boy’ as if I was a dog but I know she is just goofing around. But I do not mind because I am a good boy and I am good at cleaning and I am obedient because my mom raised me well. When I was a small child I would get disciplined for being a bad boy. Actions that were considered by my parents as bad were as follows: not finishing my dinner; not cleaning up my toys after playing with them; playing with my toys outside of the allotted ‘toy area’ (which was a small five by five foot square in the corner of the basement); asking for new toys (one time I asked for a new toy for Christmas and my Dad said “Oh yeah? You want a new toy, hey boy?” and took one of my old toys and crushed it under his size 15 boot and snarked “there look, ya see? Santa came early!” then he said “look it’s the new toy that you have to build yourself” and I proceeded to discuss with him that he broke my favorite toy. This was a bad situation because: a) I asked for a new toy, b) I spoke without being spoken to, c)I argued, d) I made eye contact, e) I cried, and f) I displayed emotion.) list con’t crying, touching things that were not mine, asking for something to drink, spilling a drink, talking back or arguing, telling them I loved them, making eye contact with them, speaking without being spoken to, displaying any sign of emotion, and lastly spying on them while they had sex (which was daily). Each action that they deemed bad had a punishment based on the severity of the act, which under the eye of my parents were all unspeakable. Punishments included time out in the box (self explanatory), the dot (the dot was my favorite, it was a small black dot marked on the wall about the size of a needle point that I would have to stare at for any duration of time), the shower (this was my least favorite, they would drape a towel over my head and body and put me in a cold shower and force me to look towards the stream and I would usually get very sick and fatigued after), and a good old fashioned smacking. I am not bitter about my childhood as I believe I would be a different person if it were not for the way I was raised and I am happy with who I am.

“So we will just go to your place first so you can have a short throwing session. Then you can shower and we will go get lunch at Café Bistro on 4th, Sandrine is expecting us she said they have a new menu that is progressive. Then I have a reservation for us at Cibus at seven o’clock and after that we are going to the Eleanor McNair opening at Frank Corletzki Gallery, I want to buy her paintings,” she stated, knowing that I wouldn’t object while also knowing that even if I did she would either: a) ask me what I wanted to do, fully knowing that she would never let my plans come to fruition , or b) say something along the lines of ‘no’, however, probably with wit and a little patronizing; something like “oh you think so?” or “one more word and it’s timeout for you!” Both options are purely for her entertainment at the expense of my ego, it never bothers me anyway because I have thick skin from being bullied as a child. Because my skin is not white I was teased and called ‘chocolate face’ and in highschool I was called ‘fag’ by the jocks for wearing slim jeans (ironically the captain of the football team was caught performing felatio to the star wide reciever, I felt sorry for him because I knew I was not one and he was likely very confused)    

I didn’t hesitate to acknowledge, “OK.” Jane always plans my days in their entirety and I don’t mind because I don’t like to have to think and I am easy going. I sat in silence for a moment and thought about the redundancy in the name Café Bistro and how the combination of the two words is often used to describe the classification of a restaurant like so (not to mention that our dinner reservation was at Cibus which is just latin for food):
    Me: what kind of restaurant is it?

Somebody: oh you know, it’s like a café bistro

I was also mesmerized by the sheer comfort of the Lincoln Continental's seats, the cushion of the seat was soft and pillowy yet backed by firm but forgiving lumbar and shoulder support while the headrest seemed to bolster my head in such manner that I almost forgot I had one. The only comparison to which I feel does justice is that of being comforted by 100 angels while lying on your deathbed, which I’m sure lead designer of the Lincoln Continental, David Woodhouse had in mind.

“I’m having a dart, do you mind?” I asked as I noticed a pack of Marlboro Red 100’s inside a pocket of her purse; it was an Yves Saint Laurent Sac de jour which is a nice bag, it is clean and free of any accoutrement and does not call for attention. She started the car, rolled down the window and put on Doris Day’s rendition of Cheek To Cheek as we backed out of the stall and left. It was sunny and I was in heaven.


-----------------------


We arrived at my apartment and it smelled like burnt coffee because I had left the coffee pot on and what little coffee that was left in the pot before the accident had either mostly evaporated or burnt itself to the bottom. I looked around to see if everything was where I had left it and didn’t notice anything out of place because I had nothing to begin with.

“So when are you going to come back and pick me up for lunch–when did you tell Sandrine we were coming in? I’m only going to throw for half an hour or so, I won’t be long,”

“Well if that’s it then I will just wait here and watch, we don’t have to be there for a couple hours, ” she said and didn’t seem annoyed or the least bit concerned

“OK, you can go watch TV if you want, I just got season one of The Sopranos on DVD, I only have basic cable.” I only had it on DVD for the special features, James Gandolfini is very funny behind the scenes which is nice to see because it makes him more relatable. His character Tony Soprano is very ruthless and mean. I also knew that Jane does not like The Sopranos or any mafia related entertainment.
    “You know I don’t watch those shows, they are so unrealistic, I only watch Planet Earth and the Discovery Channel, or true crime mini series and shows about serial murderers. I’ll just watch you pitch, I know how Randy throws, I’ve watched all his videos, it’s part of my job :) besides it’s half an hour for me to get back and I’ll have to come pick you up again anyway.” She continued to watch me throw for almost an hour in silence before telling me to loosen my grip and that my timing was off and I was rushing my push off and too behind with my throw and she was right. After I corrected it I gained an extra two miles per hour and was now throwing ninety nine and I felt ready to throw in LA. I showered and got dressed and Jane criticised my outfit and told me to either change or bring a change of clothes because Cibus had a strict dress code were they did not allow any clothes of color and I was wearing red and blue. It had something to do with the owner being a major nutjob dog sympathizer and claims dogs can only see black and white and that he wants clientele to experience life through a dog’s eyes. If this is not really making any sense, Cibus’ wait staff are made up entirely of canidae, or dogs, who are trained to walk around with trays on their heads and serve dishes (yes, they even have spiral shaped ramps for small dogs so they are able to get the dishes onto the table). You are probably wondering how orders are made, it is actually quite simple. Each menu item is correlated with a command which is correlated with a number of barks, almost like morris code for dogs. You tell the command to the dog and the dog returns to the kitchen like a normal waiter would and reiterates the order to which the kitchen staff translate the barks into their correlated dish; it’s really quite extraordinary. They are in the middle of opening up a café bistro type restaurant where the kitchen staff will also purely consist of canidae which I am excited to try; Jane is also invested in it and we are invited to the soft opening. Rumor is that the owner is trying to arrange for the first trans species surgery to become a dog but doctors are afraid there may be complications.

We made our way to Café Bistro and Sandrine ,the maitre d, was expecting us. Jane was catching up with Sandrine and I overheard her mention they were having some issues with the new menu as well as the new head chef Joshua Whitecraft and I looked around and noticed it was fairly quiet, just one person sitting alone facing the wall. Everyone knows that it is a tell tale sign that the food is poor taste if the restaurant is empty but then again it was after the lunch rush. The restaurant had black and white penny tile and wicker seat bistro chairs which is a classic combination and it reminded me of Paris. Sandrine sat us in the window so we had something to look out at incase we ran out of things to talk about even though we both knew we were okay to just sit in silence. It was a good location and there is lots of foot traffic in the trendy Kritz neighborhood (short for Kritzmalino). However,  I cannot say the same about the new menu unfortunately–rather than continuing the story, actually… the meal was so atrocious I had to sign up for yelp so I was able to write a review in hopes that it would save people the time, experience, and ultimately the vomiting. I feel Yelp is a truly fantastic website, it has given a platform for all the closeted food critics to break out of silence and express their profound opinions and share their unparalleled culinary knowledge with the world; we all know all it takes is a few episodes of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen to truly understand the dynamics of the culinary arts. My review is as follows:

    “I will state that this review is purely against the obviously demented head chef Joshua Whitecraft (more like Witchcraft because according to the dishes he serves it would appear he is trying to summon the dead) who has an overbearingly disturbed vision of cuisine. The wait staff are Café Bistro’s only saving grace other than its Parisian charm.

My caretaker and I arrived to the pleasant charm of Café Bistro’s Maître d, Sandrine, whom we know from La Renaissance where we were regulars, and while her and my caretaker caught up I noticed an empty restaurant with but one lone patron sitting in the corner facing the wall; I assumed he was a critic. I’ll spare you the agony of the dishes on the menu and just tell you what we ordered. To start, warm kale salad: tossed with cauliflower, brussel sprouts and a lemon parmesan vinaigrette. Followed by the next two dishes: buttermilk fried confit of lamb belly, honey ginger, red pepper aioli, and, Pan seared (more like deep fried) gnocchi with  salsa verde, roasted tomato puree, parmesan sabayon, all topped with caramelized fennel. And finally (an absolute frankenstein of a dish), Slow braised (as opposed to fast braised) pork cheek, black turtle beans, sauerkraut, smoked yogurt, and caramelized onion jus. Now our drinks have just arrived, and what does my scotch and soda have? A lime wedge; did I order a tequila shot? HOWEVER, our server, as sharp as she was, noticed the drink went without a lemon wedge and quickly hustled over to our table with one and the day was saved. The warm kale salad was first to arrive and it arrived like the slopping mess I expected it be. With that said, it was at least palatable, and that’s about all I can say about the dish. It wasn’t until five minutes after we had finished the salad that the lamb belly and gnocchi arrived; visually it appeared inspiration for this dish came from a bloody crime scene. Unfortunately I did not have my digital camera on me so I could show you what two different piles of shit look like next to each other, so let me tell you, you wouldn’t be surprised. Where to start...how about with the fact that the lamb belly seemed to come out of some two bit carnival/pseudo-foodtruck kitchen. There was a disturbingly thick amount of butter-milk batter that needed to be wrung of the stale oil that it had been fried in. Once you got through the latter, you could finally taste a hint of something that once was in fact lamb, which had been ferociously stripped of its own integrity as a protein. On the side of the plate was a ramekin globbed full of roasted garlic aioli; I assume this is put there to mask the taste, or lack thereof, of the aforementioned dish. Now I am realizing that head chef Joshua Whitecraft has deep inspiration from the infamous, blonde porcupine topped, celebrity chef Guy Fierree of “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” I won’t begin to tell you what is running through our minds at this moment, but baby it ain’t pretty. Onto the...gnocchi. What was placed in front of us seemed to have been a rendition of a grotesque pasta dish you would see in an episode of “Ren and Stimpy”.  Piled high and melting away at the same time. At the base, a thin film of roasted tomato pureé and salsa verde, on top, the apparent ‘pan seared’ gnocchi heavily dusted in cornmeal and coated by a thick parmesan sabayon blanket. The gnocchi was overcooked and had the consistency of raw pizza dough (and apparently deep fried…wtf?) and the sabayon lacked any redeeming quality left to adhere the dishes overall failure. I was at least expecting the sabayon to be overwhelmingly flavoured by parmesan so I could at least get some sort of punch, but no, nothing, just nothing. I have unfortunately lost interest in continuing this review as I feel I have said enough. Don’t go there. The food is bland, and was quite frankly disgusting. I can only imagine that head ‘chef’ took inspiration from the mystery basket aspect of the t.v. show “Chopped” (the contestants are faced with a basket filled with random ingredients ranging anywhere from gummy bears to cow tongue, and have to proceed in creating a dish, the majority to which, appear inedible). I didn’t even get the chance to check the bathroom as we were not there long enough for the need to use it. Sadly, the only good thing to come out of our experience was leaving…” - Hungry_Boy1000
    As we left I had to be honest with Sandrine because I felt it was my duty as a paying customer, but ultimately as a friend, “Sandrine, don’t take this the wrong way, but seriously, what the hell are you doing here? That was like honestly the worst meal I have ever had! Did the head chef choose the ingredients from a lottery? It’s the most confusing thing I have ever seen! I hate to say it but that meal did not have one redeeming quality, it was trash!” As I asked I struggled to keep composure and had bouts of laughter at each breath. She knew that the food was terrible and you could tell she was sorry by her body language. “It has nothing to do with you but I mean you are this place’s saving grace you are too good to be here, and it’s too bad people can’t pay to come talk to you.” Although I do know people do come to just have a drink and talk to Sandrine because she is such a delight and her Parisian charm is without parallel.
    “I know, I know,” Sandrine said sounding defeated, “there was an opening and they were offering me more money, you know how it is, but now I understand why the previous Maitré d left! I will not be here for much longer, I am going to being running the front of Café Canidae, you know, the new restaurant that Jacs Puppi from Cibus is opening. He was a regular at La Renaissance and always wanted me to come work for him at Cibus, but now he wants me to run Café Canidae.”
    My eyes lit up and I looked over at Jane and paused waiting for her to say something. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure if Jane was a silent investor or if her investment was even note worthy as all she told me was that she had put some money into the restaurant and that we were going to the soft opening.

Jane spoke up, “well that’s good, I’m sure it will be much better than working here, besides who doesn’t love working with dogs.” She was very short in her response and almost cynical and I thought it was because that maybe Jane secretly didn’t like Sandrine or something of that nature.

We said “au revoir” to Sandrine in unison except I was slightly behind, “a-au-u r-revoir-r, S-Sandrine-e,” and as we walked back towards Jane’s car I told her that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Joshua Whitecraft (even though I did think he was an asshole for serving what he felt was deemable to call food) because I felt he must be really confused and either: a) lied his way into the job or b) knows the owner; it turned out to be a bit of both. Jane said that I am often too nice and that I can’t always be giving people the benefit of the doubt and that we are all aware of our actions and that although some people may mean well they are simply assholes.

By now I was legitimately curious about Jane’s involvement with the restaurant, “So how come you didn’t tell Sandrine you have invested in the restaurant?”
    “Jon that is my restaurant, I own it. When I heard he was looking to open a new restaurant I contacted him immediately. Cibus’ is one of the premier restaurants in the city and I know this one will be nothing short. I am annoyed because he is supposed to consult with me when hiring managerial staff and although Sandrine is an excellent candidate that is not the point, it’s about principle, which seems to no longer exist these days. If he neglects to inform me on any decisions–I have to call him right now,” said Jane and it was always hard to gauge her mood, however, this time it was clear that she was annoyed. I could see the muscle in her cheeks flex and veins rise and fill with blood and nostrils flare as she clenched both her hand and jaw and for an instant I thought it was cute. “Danté, I just ran into Sandrine… Yeeaaah! it was nice to see her she is wonderful...uh huuhh!?, uh huuhh!?… yeeeeahh!, she says she can’t wait to work for you!” she said with and uncandid sarcasm and there was a short pause and I could only picture Danté searching every corner of his mind for a palatable excuse as to why he did not consult Jane and that he must’ve been choking on that crackling lump you get in your throat when you know you are in trouble.



Jane also had the ability to make you feel small and worthless and I could tell by her tone that she made Danté feel small and worthless. “Listen, I don’t need a high school girl’s excuse, we are going to open this restaurant and it is going to be the best restaurant; we are going to have the best front of house; we are going to have the best kitchen; we will have the best menu. Now repeat it to me and stop crying.” After a brief moment of silence she berated Danté again by saying that if he were to make any decisions without her regard that she would kill him. She was able to say it in a way where it was near impossible to detect any form of sarcasm and it was petrifying but also very alluring and I could only imagine Danté’s response to be something along the lines of “yes, master”. After all, Danté was known to be a bit cowardice. Jane let out a short but enervated sigh and said we were going to go back to her apartment and lounge and that she needed something to calm her nerve before we went out.
                    ––––––––––––––


    We got back to Jane’s apartment and she immediately went to lie down on one of her couches while kicking her shoes off along the way and I looked toward her bar and thought about getting drunk.
    “Can you pour me a drink?” Jane said quietly.

´“Yeah what do you want? Do you want a cocktail or what?” I had to cycle through my brain to remember what cocktails I knew how to make in case she wanted one and I didn’t want to have to make her wait while I searched for a recipe on Google.
    “Just a J&B, actually just bring me the bottle and two glasses, you’re drinking too,” she said and I walked over to the couch and sat opposite to her and poured three fingers each. We drank and then I wrote my restaurant review of Café Bistro while she slept.
    It was around a quarter past six when Jane woke up from her nap and proceeded to give me hell for not waking her up earlier. She was mad because our reservation for dinner was at seven and I guess she wanted to changer her outfit to something nicer; I thought she looked very nice and told her that. She went to her room to change and while she was changing I decided to polish off the rest of the J&B; there was only about a quarter of the bottle left anyway. When she came out her room she was wearing a nice crisp white blouse that had ruffles on the front and long sharply pointed collars; her pants were black and grey buffalo plaid that were tight and tapered and well fitted in the seat and had three pleats per leg. She was trying on different pumps but I suggested a nice loafer with a low heel and she agreed and thanked me which made me feel good because I always knew I had done good when she thanked me.
    When we arrived at Cibus and Jane handed me some zoomers and we quickly ate them. A valet opened the door for me so I put my hand out asking for assistance and slipped him a twenty that I found under the seat and told him to ‘keep it running’ as if we wouldn’t be long then he stared at me with his blank face that was shielded by confusion. The entrance to Cibus was, you could say, a little grandiose. It featured a massive smiling Golden Retriever head and the entrance was exactly where you would expect it to be, in the mouth (they even had a red carpet rolled out so as to have it appear the dog’s tongue). The dog also turned out to be, head chef and owner, Danté Marunini’s late, but beloved, pup whom I found out later died of a heart attack. Word is Danté named the pup Cibus (I will remind you Cibus is latin for food) because it liked food so much and I guess he overfed the dog to its untimely death when it was still a puppy :(. As we walked up the red carpet and towards the entrance I felt it was only necessary to be a gentleman and walk with Jane arm and arm; there were two gorgeous blonde Afghan Hounds along with the Maître d to greet us at the door and ask for our reservation; one of the dogs let out a subtle “ruff” as if he understood his purpose. Jane told me later that the wait list for a reservation was two and half years but she ‘knows people’ so she made the reservation only last week. We were taken to our table without hesitation, which was a booth and offered a great view of the entire operation, by a spunky Chihuahua whose name was Gusto and his coat was black and shiney and it reflected the ambient lighting in a way that seemed unfeasible. About thirty seconds later we were greeted with menus, sparkling water, and a rare 1979 Bollinger Grande Annee by our server who was a black and tan Doberman; the champagne was crisp, refreshing, and beyond exceptional and it seemed to linger and faintly tickle the tongue moments after it had been swallowed. I asked Jane what the occasion was because I was aware of this particular bottle and knew it cost upwards of seven hundred dollars and that was shelf price. She responded with “It’s Saturday,” and smiled with her eyes as we clinked flutes and sipped and she finished with “plus I know you are not superstitious so we are celebrating early for your win in LA on Monday.” She was right, I was not superstitious but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about it as this was more or less my last chance and if I didn’t get scouted I would have to seriously reconsider my life; however, becoming a police officer or joining the military was always a fantasy. Since we had to be at the Eleanor McNair opening for around eight thirty we opted for the set menu to expedite the ordering process. I ordered two J&B’s neat to get the blood flowing and a 1986 Margaux just because why not, we were celebrating. As we sipped our vintage wine and nibbled on the Italian inspired haute cuisine and cannapés we discussed the efficiency of restaurant and we started to giggle from the zoomers and laugh at the absurdity of being served by dogs, who woulda thunk. There was never any disruption or small talk with the wait staff and the rate that the dishes came out was eerily seamless as if there were cameras spying on us knowing when we finished each last bite. We finished and settled and although gratuity for the kitchen staff was included it was suggested that we give our waiter a nice healthy scratch on the head upon leaving. Jane lead and I followed and we walked out of the restaurant passed the blonde Afghans and as we arrived at the curb Jane’s Lincoln Continental pulled up (the restaurant has driver service for patrons who are under the influence) and the valet opened our doors and we sat down in the plush back seats that felt like a sofa and Jane sat in the center, leaned against me and asked me to light her a cigarette. She took a long and slow drag and withdrew the Marlboro from her lips and I could not take my eyes off the crimson lipstick that had been imprinted on the filter.
    She exhaled, “So what did you think?” Jane asked sincerely as a thin billow of blue smoke permeated throughout the car at eye level and seeped out the slightly opened windows.
    “It was exquisite, I was expecting the place to have a lingering hint of wet dog smell, but nothing!” I said surprisingly. “I’m going to write a review right now, it will be quick, I have the app.” My review was as follows:



“Not bad, 5 stars” - Hungry_Boy1000

“Good, I’m glad you enjoyed it, I had to pull a lot of strings to get us in on such short notice. But it’s not a problem, you deserve it, and you will get drafted. In the off chance you don’t get drafted however, you can always try food criticism.” she laughed which made me laugh.

    I was feeling less nervous about performing well on monday and more nervous about impressing Jane; even though she was extremely sincere and supportive, deep down I would feel worse letting her down than not making the cut and I don’t know why.
    We pulled into the alley behind the Frank Corletzki Gallery and saw a small crowd lingering around the base of the single file stairway entrance smoking cigarettes dressed unusual to me but ordinary to themselves; the whole situation seemed so blasé and I couldn’t have been more excited to enter and by now the zoomers were really starting to kick in. I could hear the loud chatter from outside and when I opened the big steel door I was overwhelmed by the combination of the blinding fluorescent white light and glares and the smell of linseed oil mixed with overly hopped carbonated beverages; the type that nobody actually likes but drinks because it is in. It is common knowledge that people only go to openings to schmooze and be seen and show each other up fashion wise and this is okay because it is fun and only part of human nature to compete and sometimes if you are lucky there will be a celebrity sighting. Jane disappeared into the crowd and as I was left alone I had to awkwardly make eye contact with strangers and do that weird pseudo smile that you usually do when you make awkward eye contact with either a stranger or someone that you sort of know but don’t know enough or don’t care about enough to approach and engage in conversation; this is okay because the feeling is usually mutual. It’s the type of smile that you give someone as if you are acknowledging their existence, ‘yes, I see you are a human’. People never give this type of smile to dogs. Recently I had began to feel slightly jaded towards painting as the naivety of the contemporary examples felt overtly ironic and insincere, however, McNair’s paintings seemed to instantly snap me out of the drought. Flat grounds with floating repetitions of crude but gently abstracted figurations of arms and bodies and tea pots that appeared as stop motion video on pause, and along with the vibrant saturated colors, they seem to assure us that the ongoing push and pull of serious vs play can be combined to tell us we don’t have to choose a side. But maybe that was just the mushrooms because I started to realize I was spending as much time staring at the wall as I was at the paintings. Upon inspection they seemed to be made up of millions of interlinking ‘T’ shapes that expanded and contracted with each breath and it reminded me that I was starting to really trip. About a minute later Jane found me and she had some San Pellegrino, I asked for a sip and the carbonation felt like an atom bomb of poprocks exploded in my mouth. Jane was laughing hysterically and said ‘oh my god’ and she pulled out her phone and I thought she was taking a photo of me but it turned out she was taking a video (she shows me the video later and she was laughing because when I took a sip I did not swallow nor close my mouth so the San Pellegrino poured out of my mouth and dribbled down my shirt). I began to lose sense of time (this is truly an indescribable experience and can only be understood after ingesting copious amounts of zoomers, by the way zoomers are psilocybin mushrooms, or magic mushrooms if you are really thick) and kept pulling my phone out of my pocket and checking the time and the phone felt wet and soft like it was beginning to mold between my fingers; I had to keep bringing myself back down. Jane and I were standing in the corner zoning out when she looked over at me and told me that it was time to go because she too began to lose sense of time and I had begun to rub and scratch at the paintings and someone said ‘hey! Don’t touch the art’ to which Jane responded ‘shut the fuck up, old man’ and the old man stood up straight and had a look on his small weak face that could only be described as repugnant. Then Jane said to the old man that I could do whatever the fuck I wanted to do the paintings because she purchased the entire show. He looked at me as if he was about to say something so I opened my mouth but only gibberish came out and Jane laughed. By now I knew it was time to go because I felt like I was melting and it felt like I my socks were soaking wet, stretched out and too big and I wanted to take off my clothes because they began to agitate my skin. Jane called for our driver and took me by the arm and we left back through the steel door and down past the elite smoking crowd and stood in the alley while we waited for the car.
    “Jane, I am tripping balls, I just want you to know that. My feet feel like they are cemented to the ground. Are they cemented to the ground? Why do my feet feel wet? My skin feels so wet and soft and I can see the blood radiating as it pulses through the veins in my arm, it looks like the light in a Xerox machine.” I was about to start rambling but Jane put her hand over my mouth and made it feel like it was glued shut. She pulled out a cigarette and said “open” and I opened my lips and she put the cigarette in and went to light it but it wouldn’t light because it was backwards and I told Jane but she was too high to understand so I just ate it. Our driver pulled up and I suddenly remembered I could move my feet and we got in the back and I said “home, James,” and the driver started to drive and Jane and I faced each other and began to mime each other's movements then stopped and began to laugh uncontrollably and cry. We arrived at Jane’s building and I had no idea how we had gotten there because I remember telling the driver to go to my apartment but it turns out he had instruction to take us to Jane’s from earlier. The doorman welcomed us and escorted us to the elevator and I spoke to him in gibberish and he looked confused but then quickly realized that I was on another planet. I then proceeded to push all the floor buttons and Jane was mad and told me that I was a bad boy and that she might have to punish me later. By the fifth floor I began to feel claustrophobic which only happens when I am on zoomers so I decided to run up the stairs instead. By the time I got to Jane’s penthouse she had already been there for what she felt was an eternity. Jane’s place was dimly lit and nice and warm, she must’ve turned the heat up because it looked like the walls were sweating. My shoes and shirt were annoying me so I took them off and walked over to sit with Jane and noticed her clothes were scattered on the ground. She was naked lying down on one of the plush couches circling her index finger against the suede, disrupting the natural flow of the material. She looked over at me and pulled out a cigarette, lit it,  and then looked back up at the ceiling and I knew what was coming.
    “You don’t think I’ve forgotten about your punishment, do you?” She said, then she took a long drag and I could see the cherry grow and glow and fade as it turned to ash. “Get on your knees and tell me you’ve been a bad boy”, and I got on my knees and I told her I had been a bad boy, then she asked why I was a bad boy and I told her it was because I pushed all the buttons in the elevator. The shadows cast from her brow onto her cheeks began to grow droopy as did her mouth until she looked like Ghostface from the hit slasher film Scream. Instead of tripping on it I laughed and Jane said that was another strike and that I would have to pay for my action “you are going to pay for that”. She raised her hand and with the crook of her index finger I was at her heel. She looked down at me and took one last drag then told me to stick my tongue out and she proceeded to extinguish the cigarette on it and it tickled at first then went numb but it was all in good fun since she said I was a good boy. I got up to get a glass of water to rinse the taste of ash from my mouth and told Jane I was probably going to leave shortly to which she responded “you can leave after you’ve carried me to bed.” The bland water was unable to rid the taste of ash from my mouth so I opted for a sealed bottle of J&B and took a hit then went back to join Jane at the couches. We sat in silence and occasionally stared at each other in between bouts of zoning out to the effects of the zoomers and after some time I stood up slowly to avoid severe head rush, walked over to Jane who was lying on her back and looking and carefully examining the knuckles of her fingers.
    “Alright, I’m going to go.” I said as she slowly shifted her attention towards me.
    “My hands, look at them, they’re perfect, my finger to palm ratio is like no other. I could hand model you know. My nail to finger ratio is also perfect. Just look for a second.” She limply raised her hand up towards me much like I raised my hand towards the valet at dinner.
    I didn’t need to look, “Yes, Jane, your hands, they are perfect.” I said with a subtleness of sarcasm that was overruled by my sincerity and she looked at me with her eyes that smiled more than her lips. I bent down and slid my arms under her naked body, she put her arms around my neck and her head to my chest and I rose and began to walk down the hall towards her bedroom in silence and could feel the warmth of her breath against my neck. I lowered her gently onto her bed that was wrapped with silk beddings and as I slid my arms out from under her body it felt as if her skin had unified with the bedding, it was a sensation that had a certain, how do you say, je ne sais quoi. She reached for my hand and pulled me down onto the bed and asked me to lay with her. And we laid in the ambience of Santo and Johnny with our arms touching just enough to disturb the hairs (the feeling similar to when you notice an ant wandering about the surface of your forearm) and we stared at each other for a moment, then at the ceiling. I waited for her to fall asleep before getting up and leaving; It was four in the morning and I ran home because I was still tripping from the zoomers. By the time I got home it was just before five which was okay because that meant I could get at least six hours of sleep before my training session later that day. I got undressed, got into bed and began to masturbate to the thought of Jane punishing me, and came. I was about to fall asleep when I received a text from Jane asking where I went and that she wished I had stayed.

    *tick, tick, tick…* “Sorry, I had to leave, I needed to go for a run. Goodnight, Jane.”
    *blip* “Goodnight, Jon.”
    

It was just passed nine thirty when I woke up to Jane yelling at me to ‘get up’. She had keys to my apartment and would usually let herself in when it was my training days. I rolled out of bed with a mass of post-zoomer depression on my shoulders and dragged my feet into the kitchen area where Jane was preparing my breakfast and I could smell the oatmeal.
    “Sit down, we don’t have a lot of time, I let you sleep an extra half hour, figured you’d need it.”
    “I’m not gonna do a full session today anyway, just throwing and light exercise, I don’t feel so good.” physically I was fine, but mentally I was a little down which I guess ultimately shows through my body language.

“You’ll be fine, just don’t think about it. Here, your oatmeal is ready and I have a couple eggs too. Just take your time and I’ll drive you to the pitching center. I’ll tell Karm you’ll be a bit late.”
    We drove in silence and I was getting deeper into my own head about why I was sad and over thinking every thought that came into my mind. I was trying to not think about the game on Monday but it was stressing me out so I got Jane to make a stop at my dealer, Brian’s place, so I could get some hash. Jane was trying to give me grief for getting stoned before training but she knew I had things on my mind so she let it go. I ended up just quickly running into Brian’s place and having a quick hit ‘n’ run ( a hit ‘n’ run is a stoner term for smoking quickly and not staying to hangout). By the time we arrived at the center I had mellowed out and realized it was just a short case of the blues that was easily overcome by the realization that I could very possibly be soon playing for the LA Dodgers.
    As soon as I walked into the facility and acknowledged the staff and my pitching coach I could tell they knew I was high by the looks on their faces; I guess I had a classic case of clam eyes or maybe it was the stupid smirk I get on my face when I am high or maybe it was both. My coach Lyle wanted me to work on my splitter (or a split finger fastball) which is the pitch that I struggle with the most consistency wise; it is a difficult grip and they add drawing of grip are often wild, but if you can get them under control they are as deadly as a good, deceptive knuckleball.  The key is to reduce backspin on the ball so the pitch appears to start out as a regular fastball but drops towards the plate at the last second; this is achieved by splitting your index and middle finger into a ‘Y’ shape under the four seam side (or on the outside of the horseshoe) of the baseball to essentially throw a four seam fastball without gripping the seam, thus reducing backspin to destabilize the ball. When thrown correctly, if not a strike, the batter will tend to connect with the top of the baseball, resulting in a weak ground ball. This pitch is also thrown strategically with runners on base to try and create a double play.
    “You idiot,” Lyle said as he laughed.

“What!?” I said as I laughed because I knew what he was talking but but I was just being koi, I mean coy. Although, I was koi eyed.
    “You know exactly what I am talking about, dumbass. Ten minutes, running, now, then ten for stretching; Troy’s coming out any minute, he’s just taking a shit, you know how he is.”


Warming up was always fun because the time was spent shooting the shit with the boys (warm up talk is akin to locker room talk): “What’d you guys’ all do this weekend?”; “Who got laid this weekend?” Or, if it wasn’t conversation, it was gloating: “Man I got so shitfaced this weekend.”; “Man I got so laid this weekend.” Or if it wasn’t gloating it was bullying: “Dude you probably stayed in this weekend and whacked off to gay porn.”; “Dude you probably stayed in and cried because no one likes you.” Or sometimes it can all be strung together, the warm up talk went as follows:
    

57: “Boys, I got so shitfaced this weekend.”
    34: “Oh yeah? Whose shit was it?”

*team laughs
    13: “Probably Kowalski’s (34) Mom’s shit, I hear she’s into that freaky shit.”
    34: “Fuck you, fag,”
    57: “Buddy, I’d led Kowalski’s mom shit on my face anyday of the week, plus she’s vegan aint she?”
    *team laughs except for Kowalski; he had grown up being constantly teased for having an extremely attractive mother whom, rumor had it, was into scat.
    34: “Alright everybody shut the fuck up about my mom.”
    13: “Yeah, I’d definitely shut your mom’s fuck up”
    34: “Brennan (13), you’re so fucking retarded you know that? We all know your parents are related and that you lost your virginity to a chicken.”
    *team laughs except for Brennan (13) who looks down at the ground then gets up to run more laps alone, probably because there is some truth behind what Kowalski (34) had just said.

16: “Boys, shut the fuck up, you guys are all retarded.” Porter (16) was eldest on the team and wisest and he radiated compassion. He played first base.
    57: “Yeah, so anyway, I was at The Stable on friday and just got loaded, the TGIF special is deadly, $2 beer and a shot.”
    42: “So what, you probably only spent $2 you pussy.”
    57: “Yeah that’s all it took to take your sister home.”
    29: “Shit, you had to pay? I didn’t even have to open the cab door!”
    * team erupts into ‘ohhh’s’ and laughter, Malloy (42) gets up and leaves by which time the majority of everyone was done stretching. The weird thing about Malloy’s sister is that she is his twin and she looks more like him than he does her and is just as brawn but has great legs unlike Malloy who has thin, weak legs. She has also been known to be a bat bunny which is a term used to describe a woman who, on occasion, tends to engage in sexual activities with primarily baseball players.  
    57: “Yeah, whatever though, I don’t care if she looks like Malloy, pussy is pussy.”

*team acknowledges, and gets up to go start warming up their arms. Myself (69),  Fenton (21) (a relief pitcher), and the catcher, Malinski (4) were still sitting, more or less relaxing and somewhat stretching.
    21: “Jonson (69), I don’t want to have to play tomorrow, can you just throw the entire game.”
    69: “Ha, yeah no problem, shouldn’t be too hard, they’ve got shit for hitters,”
    4: “Just go easy, you don’t need to throw gas all the time, use your pitches,”
    69: “Yeah, I know, I’m working on splitters all day today, gonna try to dial ‘em in.”
    21: “Loose grip, I’m telling you, that pitch doesn’t want to be gripped, be gentle. Become the ball.” Fenton was the team buddhist.
    69: “Yeah...okay, Fenton(21),”

*I looked at Malinski (4) and made shifty eyes and we all laughed, then we got up to start throwing.
    End warm up talk.


Malinksi and I walked over to the pitching area which was separated from the main field in the training facility, it was nice and quiet and you didn’t have to put up with all the stupid shit the rest of the guys would talk about. We started tossing at thirty feet then would back up a few steps every few minutes until I was on the mound. I loved the training mounds because they were soft and springy and felt good on my feet. About fifteen minutes later Lyle walked up and instructed me to start out throwing 2 seams at 75%.
    “Nice, nice form, you’re getting a good stride today, not pussying out like normal; watch the shoulders, don’t rotate to early, you’ll fuck your rotator cuff,” I obeyed his command. “Nice, nice. Step up to 90%,” I threw nine right down the center and asked to go up to 100% and he said 110%. “Watch the shoulder...yes… like that...just like that...not too early, right there,”. I threw a ninety nine, hardest I’ve thrown. “Ok...very nice...yeah...take it slow now...good...yeah, like that.” I brought it back to 90% and then up to 110%, I wanted to hit one hundred. “Easy, Boy, not too hard. Show me your slider now, kid. Lets see what you got.” I showed him my slider and it was dirty, looked like it was going outside but it sucked right back in over the plate. “Nice...real nice. You got some slider, Boy. Filthy. Now let’s see some change-ups, nice and easy,” My change-up was alright, had a nice velocity and it broke nicely at the end, however, it wasn’t a choice pitch. “Alright, alright, so, splitters hey, boy? Throw a few, nice and easy,” they went high. “Tighten the grip…” They hit the ground. “Alright, alright, little tighter, here, grab your balls like you would a splitter...ok now squeeze until it hurts...yeah, okay now, that’s about how hard you want to grip that ball.” I threw the pitch and it was going for Malinski’s head when it dipped at the last second missing his glove and hitting him in the cup. “Hot damn, Boy! Some arm you got; real nice arm; long, firm arm; looks weak, but it ain’t. You know, that hot arm of yours is gonna take you places, boy I tell ya. Scouts tomorrow won’t know what they seen yet, nope. They gon’ be scratchin they heads, I tell yuh hwut. Boy, they gon’ be sittin’ thur probably eatin’ them delicious dogs and they gon’ see you strut your cute little behind up to that mound and once they see you toss that first pitch they gon spit out them dogs, I tell yuh hwut, Boy. Shit hot.” For some reason when Lyle got excited he would slowly introduce a southern drawl into his voice.
    “Ok Lyle, take it easy, I appreciate the optimism.” Lyle really did know his shit, but his insight was more charming than efficacious. Plus, laughter made it extremely difficult to concentrate; especially because Malinski (4) would only begin to mock the accent to an extreme which resulted in the three of us disassociating from practice entirely and engaging in a ‘play by play’ style discourse where all forms of seriousness had become null and void.  
    



    
    


    







    

    


    













*******later on in story************

David foster wallace once said in some interview i saw on Youtube that good art makes you feel like you’re not alone. I feel alone in the artworld. What does that even mean? I feel alone because I don’t understand the majority of my contemporaries. Can i even say that if i’m not even in the scene? I don’t get a lot of the weird art I see. They’re like riddles, really hard riddles.



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