Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

of hosiery and other total institutions

October 6, 2006


friday at noon, or “how I came to borrow my lover’s socks even while she’s away for a series of days camping in separate tents with her mother somewhere in deep New Jersey”:

watching the mets game in a wisconsin ex-pat bar last night on the fringes of the west village, christopher street near a second floor where a grad student strike meeting was held months ago for a strike that failed to. hold, that is. feeling disaffected, more than a little disconsolate – unconsolable? – as is my wont after a day of reading, not writing, and not always even reading as one proved overmatched, again, by the bottomless lure of internet flânerie. but the mets were doing well in game the second of their march to yankees domination and my beer had heft and bite; a brewery based in red hook, my beer-wench who doesn’t drink beer patiently explained (actually she spoke to me a little bit as though I was hard of learning, an urban marginal, which, truth be told – and, yes, why not tell it? – was somewhat how I was feeling in any event so perhaps I was grateful). so as she outlined, the brewery was based in red hook, brooklyn but was not affiliated with the “red hook brewery” which is in fact owned by the tyrannical banalical “king of beers” and was based somewhere I don’t remember but in any event a long way from the ex-stevedores and cobblestoned roads that is the hopeful, decayed – exquisite deliquescence – land of the hook of rouge.

so plucky mets continue to pluck away at their midnight shea melody and my spirits – plucky betimes themselves – rose in kind. in-between innings I texted aforementioned girlfriend with the previously alluded to hosiery – she, presumably, in her solo tent under the trees (do even bears have cell signals now?) and me on my ex-wisconsin couch feeling increasingly more consolate.* or I whiled away the ad time reading in hard-won light about communist crimes and french intellectuals – another bottomless theme I suppose – and the less than enlightening debate: whose crimes were more execrable, whose blood spots more indelible: hitler’s or stalin’s? as is so often (always?) the case, the arguments had a tendency to cast more light on the argumentee than on the phenomenon ostensibly under discussion. exiguous** little minds, I thought, deploying my just gleaned word of the day (“deliquescence”*** was from last week).

the mets won, I exchanged a couple of desultory high fives with the other mets fans in the bar – one had an orange mets cap I rather envied – and then headed for “home” – tonight being my rarely occupied actual le brooklyn profond home seeing as best friend and red hook bed sharer was with the blackberrying bears. checked in with the phone hotline for the total institution of the MTA – New York’s public transit – to make sure my L train (the very consonsant inspires horror) would be running after midnight – it often isn’t – and was reassured by the presence of an absence of warnings, caveats, jeering that I’d make it home and could even stop for groceries on the way. I’m an organised guy. I mean, I make phone calls like this; I even have the number programmed into my phone. of course getting to the station – two bags of optimistic groceries now in tow – I discover the train is in point of fact not running. or not so much discover as surmise. because the MTA doesn’t tell you anything, or, say, shut down the platform. they just let you wait until someone – in this case, me (I’m into text) – reads the fine print and discovers in fact we’ve all missed the train. I strode munificently about the platform informing the patient, sheep-like brooklyn multitudes, a gentle word in the ear that was soon confirmed – here’s how the MTA communicates – by a cleaning employee a platform up hollering down that there were no trains and she didn’t know what we all thought we were waiting for. so, great, I trundled off to another train – the F for friendly – and came to the aforementioned red hook, grateful for my house key, and took over the girlfriend’s place even while she’s, well, far away. hence the wakeup here in chilly maritime glorious red hook – only this time without cuddly maritime glorious bedbody beside me – the long, leisurely breakfast and the need for socks. thankfully my lover has big feet. my dawgs are happily ensconced in a nice pair of game-show gleaming white sports hosiery. the MTA, and the yankees, be damned.

*1818 T. L. PEACOCK Nightm. Abbey 4 One morning..‘he woke and found his lady dead’, and remained a very consolate widower [With humorous reference to disconsolate].

**1654 tr. Scudery’s Curia Pol. 39 If they have any being, it is so exiguous, that it is scarce visible.

***1863 HAWTHORNE Our Old Home (1883) I. 259 The English..hurry to the seaside with red, perspiring faces, in a state of combustion and deliquescence.