The calendar has flipped enough times
and my annual trip to a live MLB game has come.
I glance at my ticket for the thirteenth time,
it has been sweat-fashioned into a semi-circle.
The ticket-handler absorbs my ticket and
fires a red ray of light towards uneven lines.
my presence and allows me passage.
That moment lasted much longer in my mind, the
irrational thought that my ticket was a counterfeit
played through my mind two and half times before
I was alarmed by the 'ba-ding' the scanner rang out.
The noise startled me and confirmed my suspicions
that my ticket was indeed a dud, even though I knew
it wasn't. The old man looking a thousand miles
past me, waved me through the pearly gates as he
returned my ticket to hand, for me to inspect a
fourteenth time. Yep, correct date, time, stadium, and teams.
I quickly navigate to section thirty-nine.
Twenty more steps through the damp, shadowy half-tunnel
will expose an awesome panoramic view of
the field, inner-stadium, and more ads than I care to count.
I saturate myself in the moment at the tip of the tunnel,
longer than my fellow section-mates, who awkwardly
maneuver the statue that I am emulating.
I am not satisfied with the truncated moment, I side-step
and aim my phone for a picture that will unsatisfactorily
capture the moment. I swiftly snap two more pictures, slide the
phone back into its original placement in my pocket.
I cautiously judge the familiar, yet, oddly distanced steps.
Friendly faces warmly welcome, stories are swapped,
innings quickly pass and I reflect on how much
I am enjoying my company of those who share
enough common threads, that three hours seem short.
My mind wanders to the joke I think is funnier than it is,
and I tell whenever it applies: "I only come home for the
holidays- Christmas, Thanksgiving and Opening Day."
Dan Allsup is a staff writer for Shutdown Inning. You can reach him on Twitter @DanAllsup.