The Grandstand

You’re here for baseball — because baseball is love and you’d follow it anywhere — but also just to be in some new place, somewhere removed from life as you so precisely know it. The idea is to get a bit lost, turned around, to temporarily take leave of your bearings.

And it is working, as a shiver runs up the length of your body, starts in your toes and traces a line beneath your skin all the way to your scalp. The night’s getting cool. Put on a sweater and wrap a blanket around your legs; done up like that you are so happy that you don’t know what to do with your arms. You flail a bit, wrap them around yourself, throw them over the back of the bench, fold them on your knees. It is important to remember that it does not matter what you do with your arms.

Really, though, what you want to do is cast your arms wide and embrace the game in front of you. The field and the lights, rich green grass, players in their uniforms made up of elements borrowed without permission from major league teams, the pop songs that play on the tinny, overmatched conical loudspeaker dangling from the roof of the grandstand. All of that: hug it. You want to gather it all in your arms and claim it and never let anyone spoil it. You want to protect it, as it has protected you. This is a reasonable thing to want, but also it’s impossible.

“The Grandstand,” over at The Classical


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