The prompt this time was the five-word free write (for a description of this prompt, click here).
The words were: Owls Pomegranates Orange Rivers Falling
I’m not really sure how it all happened. I got caught up in the fever of it, I guess: The World Series. The geeky big boys on the SF Giants team. The sturdy, hopeful KC Royals coming back after twenty-nine years of losing, their blue uniforms, their Korean fan made world-famous after they flew him back for good luck. I don’t know how it happened; suddenly I just cared.
I come from a family of jocks, but never really related to sports. Sitting around watching the TV on a perfectly fine weekend day makes no sense to me. For years I endured feeling like an outsider during baseball season.
“I’m not really that into the Giants,” my sixteen-year-old nephew said, stretching out his long legs as we sat next to one another on my brother’s couch, my sister on the loveseat, the game bigger than life on the huge TV.
“You have to get into it with me for awhile,” I told my nephew. “This may never happen again.”
“You’re right,” he said, then turned up the volume as we all took in the game.
If I’m totally honest, my World Series fever really got kicked up once I met Juan Gomez and found out he was a Giants fan. Juan and I had kissed once on my way out of a dance club. It was one of those kisses, so I went home and promptly began stalking him on Facebook. After he accepted my friend request, a whole fantasy started to unfold over Facebook messages.
“Can we meet at HiTops and watch a game?” I asked him, referring to the only gay sports bar I have ever heard of. “I’d like to buy you a beer and kiss you again.” And so began our epic cyber flirtation. But the next game was on an evening I had to teach. I prayed the teams would tie 3-3 so I could meet Juan for game 7.
When my prayers were answered, I put on the only orange t-shirt I own and entered the bar just as Miss Thing hit that high note during the Star Spangled Banner. Juan texted just then and said he was stuck at work. Men. I knew right then and there that my Juan Gomez fantasy celebration kiss wasn’t going to come true, so I ordered a pint of Stella Artois and some garlic fries and texted my best gay pal. “Come save me from this plate of fries,” I wrote, sending him a picture of the big, greasy, delicious mess. He showed up twenty minutes later. The crowd dressed in orange and black thickened and roared.
It turned out to be a very close game, but since Juan never showed up, I couldn’t grab him and scream when Sandoval (aka The Panda) caught the winning fly ball. But I cheered anyway, and hugged a few strangers standing nearby. I’m no sports fan, but something about the World Series that year had me feeling hopeful.