On Saturday night, I stopped over to Uncle Bob’s to give him some Dorinny corn I wanted him to plant. It’s organic corn from way up north at Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, Maine. He seemed agreeable and he said it looked like there was enough seed for two rows. He told me about his new rototiller; we talked about whether or not we should put more compost in the garden and how big my tomatoes were down at my chicken coop condo and sometimes greenhouse. We talked about the weather and how he’d painted the shed and put my rain barrels up.
The conversation turned to sports and we talked about the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine. The game was on in the background; the eighth inning. The Red Sox were winning 9-8. We’d talk for 30 seconds and then watch the game and then talk for another 30 seconds. He told me some Chicago White Sox player had pitched a perfect game today. I asked him if he had ever pitched a perfect game and he said no. I asked him if he had ever pitched a no-hitter and he said only in relief. He had pitched a few one-hitters, though.
I listen to a lot of sports and a lot of sports talk radio, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t really know the intricacies of these games. Once, I asked my friend Samantha Van Hopper why she thought I liked sports radio so much. She’s a social worker and she’s pretty good at psychoanalyzing people, especially me. She said “it’s the male voices. It probably goes back to the cradle when you would hear your father’s voice and it would comfort you.”
It was cozy and warm in the living room; Uncle Bob was sitting in his recliner in the corner and I was sitting in the glider rocker. When I was little, O’Pa used to sit in the corner and Nana had a big chair where the glider rocker is now. The cuckoo clock is still there above Nana’s spot, but Uncle Bob doesn’t keep it wound like Nana did. Although she never said so, I think Nana loved that cuckoo clock. When it would chirp the hour, she would laugh and then she’d tell us what time it was. O’Pa would come in from the barn or the garden, complain about some politician and then say “Jingo.”
I was comfortable and comforted watching the game with Uncle Bob.
Then one of the Yankees hit a ground rule double and two runs scored. The score shifted to 10-9, Yankees. The implosion began.
“You know what Yogi Berra said?” Uncle Bob asked.
“It’s ain’t over until it’s over. And he was right.”
Bobby Valentine brought in the closer at some point and we watched what seemed like the longest half-inning of baseball in Tee Vee history. I don’t remember how many runs the Yankees scored.
It didn’t look good for the Red Sox and there was still some daylight, so I got up to leave.
“Joo-lie, you’ve jinxed the Red Sox. They were ahead when you got here.”
(By the way, there are only three people who can call me “Julie.” My father and Uncle Bob are two of the three.)
I went out into the garden to hoe my solitary row of lettuce and radishes. They had just popped up thanks to my father watering them for me. I took a few pictures of my garlic.
Uncle Bob came out to the garden to tell me that Margaret had just called, all upset about the game. She probably just needed to hear a comforting male voice, too. Margaret is our neighbor on Plummer Street, maybe 115 steps from Uncle Bob’s house. I used to mow her lawn and I was her Sunday paper girl. She’s 92 years old; faithful to the Red Sox all these years. I’m glad they won two World Series’ rings for fans like her.
I said good evening to Uncle Bob and skipped home along the same 255 steps I’ve been skipping my entire life. The final score was 15 – 9, Yankees.
I think I jinxed the Red Sox.
My garlic looks good, though, doesn’t it?