Kelly stands at the punch bowl stirring his whiskey straight up
with the index finger from his right hand; he's looking around:
sometimes finding sometimes dodging the eyes of the people. Making
You would not be wrong to call it a ballroom and though people
are dancing they are still a spectacle at this point'hey
look some people are dancing!'and as yet have not been
joined by enough dancers to make dancing a legitimate option for
the shy, the inhibited or even the vaguely discreet. Kelly only
dances to slow songs and dancing isn't on his mind now anywaynothing
to prove out there.
He is thinking about the immediate futurehas he played his
last game as a Toronto Blue Jay? Will he be shipped out of town?
Will it be a blockbuster? His agent a scrawny balding little fixer
from LA says there is 'loads of interest', so much so we had to
hire 'an extra broad to beat 'em off with a stick.' He's always-making
jokes like that and like always Kelly is complicit because he chuckles.
'You don't need Toronto, way more endorsements in California or
Texas! Angels, Mets, maybe Houston in a three way deal?!You
don't need the Toronto Blue Jays!'
But, shit, does he?as he looks around this room at the World
Series Champions. His teammates. His people. This city he owned
three years agoshit. Does he?
Kelly is back into the party now. Not really listening to a guy
from Toronto'well, Etobikoe actually, but we sure love the
city'-who is chewing Kelly a new ear about how much this year
meant to him, to the entire family
to the country:
"Yeahthe wife and I drove down for all the playoff games
this year. We just knew. Didn't you? It's just done so much for
us! For Canada!"
Kelly remembers a joke someone told him when he signed with Toronto,
' How do you get 1,000 Canadians out of a pool?' 'Ask them to get
out of the pool.' Good joke. (Kelly thinks what he would do if some
Canadian tried to get him out of a pool before he was ready. He'd
probably get out of the pool alright, with a big mouth full of water
to spit all over the sap before doing a perfect half-gainer back
into the poolShow him)
He'd like to play some place warmer than here though, that's for
sure. But it will be like starting over: new trainers, new dry cleaners,
new hair salons, new checkout girls in new grocery stores. 'Angels,
Mets, maybe Houston in a three way deal.' Maybe get a swimming
pool shaped like a baseball glove, if it's Houston, for the folks.
"Yeah-the wife and I drove down for all the playoff games
He is still talking to Kelly, this old man his body and hair failing
under the weight of his too long life absent any real thrill. He'd
trade his wife, his kids, their house, the car, the weekend place
in cottage country and his retirement savings for thirty seconds
of how it feels to play in the major leagues: for the bumps all
over you you get from knowing there are fifty thousand people present
watching your every move, and thousands on television, millions.
Kelly's looking straight into the guy's eyes nowCan you
"I really thought you had 'em"
Kelly snaps back to attention or at least pays some attention to
what the man is now saying, or at least enough attention to ask,
The man is clearly taken aback that Kelly has spoken to him and
composes himself visibly and before speaking, wipes the dampness
off his chin, "I thought you had 'em. You know, on the triple
play. I was sure you had 'em." Kelly bites his lip because
inside he is screaming. Screaming the same three words he screamed
at the umpire, the same three words he half-whispers walking away
subtly now for warmer climbs,
"I got 'em."
"The umpire sure didn't think so," he says
laughing to Kelly's turned back. Kelly does not turn around.
Kelly thinks about telling the guy how the ump admitted he blew
the call, how the ump himself said, "You got 'em." He
thinks about bumrushing the old man into the punch bowl and dunking
his head in the red juice three long timesone for each outor
until he admitted that it was him and the ump, not Kelly, missing
something. Instead he walks out to the center of the room and
spins 360 degrees in place.