Tiger Stadium. Three AM, I guess, or something like it. Tiger Stadium, half a block away in the middle of the night as we pumped gas and bought beer at the 24/7.
It was about a decade ago, and there were six or seven of us, knees cramped from too many hours folded into the rented SUV, nobody really knowing the best route to Toledo, and me not really giving a damn anyway, being in no particular hurry to get to the old man’s funeral.
I was about half-way through a pint of Cuervo, anyway, and I looked up from my half-smoked Camel and noted the high arched entryway, and the box office marquee listing the upcoming games, home and away.
“Jesus! It’s friggin Tiger Stadium!”
“Tiger friggin Stadium! Let’s go look!”
Nobody was having any of it. I was already ambling down the block. A police cruiser cruised, slowed, didn’t stop.
“We’re gonna leave you here, asshole” my brother’s voice faded away behind me, “I’m not fuckin around with you.”
I watched them drive away; stood there enjoying all the tiny lights, stood there half an hour waiting for something to be revealed. Held my breath. Smoked the end of a joint and finished the Cuervo.
After a while, the SUV rounded the corner beside the glaring convenience store, idled down the block in my direction, and stopped. “Come on, asshole” he said, “We gotcha some fries.”
Bricks, well after midnight.
Box office, empty.
The Last Game, a scoreless tie.