Thursday, April 20, 2006

Metro-Chickie Diary #2: Tale from the Dugout

This evening, I was with Lewis the Bagle at the corner of 79th Street and East End when a man walked up to us dressed in full Yankee regalia - an actual Yankee uniform - from head to toe. When he bent down to say hello to Lewis the Bagle, I asked him, "Are you a Yankee?" But when he looked up at me and smiled, I could see he was far too old to be a Yankee. "Don't I wish," he laughed, "I'm just a devoted fan." That's when I saw the name, "Jeter" on his back, and I felt silly for even having asked the question.

The traffic light turned green, and I was ready to keep walking, but the man in the Yankee uniform continued to talk. He told me that he had an "away uniform" as well. When the Yankees were playing at home, he wore the home uniform; when the Yankees were traveling, he wore the away uniform. In each case, the whole uniform, head to toe, every game, without fail.

I smiled politely, my eyes beginning to search for a polite way out of the conversation, but the light had turned red again. I steeled myself for another two minutes of hearing of his devotion to the Yankees.

And then it happened: the "crazy tell" - that moment when a crazy person feels compelled to no longer keep his craziness to himself. It's always inevitable in these situations, but the thing is, you only ever realize it in hindsight. Smiling so wide, I could see every one of his teeth gleaming under the street lights, the Yankee fan swung a pinstriped arm high up in the evening air and proceeded to punch himself, hard, in the groin. I grimaced as I heard the crack of knuckles against plastic: his cup. The Yankee fan was showing me that he was wearing a cup.

"See?" he said, "I wasn't kidding when I said I wear the whole uniform."

I felt my face twist into a cringe, but I tried to be polite. No big reactions. No sudden moves. Stepping slowly away, I laughed nervously, "Oh, okay, I see, yeah, well, thanks for the info....." My voice trailed off as I saw that the light had turned green again, and I hurried into the crosswalk.

As Lewis and I made our way across the street, I turned to finish the thought.

"Have a great season, Derek."

I didn't look back the rest of the way home.



Sergio said...

That's scary!

This reminds me of something a classmate told me the other day (she's actually a relative but we got to know each other because we're both studying Medicine). The other day she was taking some practical lessons in the psychiatric area of our hospital. Right after that, I met her and she was still sweating because of the tension! She said she was scared that at any time one of the patients would have an aggressive outbreak (not sure if that's correct). She didn't even look at them in the eyes, in fear that doing so would provoke them or something. That's quite intimidating, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Ohh gosh, I'll have to remember to avoid him if I see him in the park!


Ash said...

Hilarious! Laughing my ass off. I don't have an away shirt - just two home shirts - vintages 1999 and 2003 - both, naturally, glorious red and white.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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