Brooklyn Roads

I knew two things about today before today began:

  1. My hair was in transition; and
  2. Beisbol with Tyler.

The hair: blue. Bob-ish. I’d hacked away at it in the shower two days ago. You live long enough with the same haircut and you get a feel for it. I keep scissors in the shower for whenever I get ansy. I like my hair functional and boyish. Beyond that, I’m not so vain. It tells me what it wants. I listen and respond in kind.

The preliminary haircut was not enough. I knew that after going into the city yesterday to see Inland Empire with Ty at IFC. The ends were still bleached and straw like. So I hacked away at it in the shower again this morning after dying it some mystery shade of blue, cobbled together from three separate shades squeezed into a bottle with developer. The result was pleasing and manageable after balm and goo were applied.

I made ramen and occupied myself with Paul Auster interviews and then searched for my favorite black t in the mountains of black T’s in my closet.

On my way to the train I was stopped by a woman coming out of a bodega on Halsey who exclaimed her approval of my hair with astonishment.

  1. Beisbol with Ty Ty. Tyler is a home. One that existed even before he did. Before he was him there was another Michigander I’d fallen in love with, back in the summer between sixth and seventh grades. A boy I promised would one day be mine. I kept the promise. Made him fall in love with me and then marry and divorce me, freeing me with a bounty that propelled me into this present.

Tyler is so many of the things Danny was and could never be. It’s not Tyler’s fault. Tyler is just him. Tyler was just him back in 2018 when I met him at Barboncino. Back in the August of my discontent when I was a baby writer, still ashamed to call myself such. Back in the days when I was writing a novel based half in reality and half in the imagination of a married woman who heard the tale of her sister-in-law, and summoned into reality by the 🦄 who played his part of inspiration evoked and inspiration evocateur.

Baseball was something Danny introduced me to. It’s a romantic game. All history and hope against hope played out sans clock, in the promise of nine innings. More, if the game is good.

Ty and I met at our train stop. We ventured deep into the Brooklyn that exists, not to serve as exurb to Manhattan, but as its own thing. A living thing. Like baseball itself.

On one of our trains, Ty told me about an aspect of the curse reverse we’ve might not heard about. The 2004 Red Sox. August 31st, when a Sox player accidentally knocked the teeth out of a kid who happened to live on the very same farm once owned by the playwright who sold the Bambino to fund a run of No No Nannette back in 1918. The score that night against the Yankees was an 22-nil. The Sox would go on to win the Series that year in four games.

You understand now why I am a romantic and why I love baseball and how Tyler, also a romantic, can send me into a trance with bullshit stories about a game that he plays and I only peripherally acknowledge. Baseball stopped being fun after Danny left me. It started being fun again when Tyler entered my life.

It’s not his fault. My pump was primed long ago. He knows this. So when he said, “You know how important it was for me to sell that ticket” when we had an extra at the IFC to see the interminable Lynch film yesterday, I responded with, “Yeah, I was married to you.” And he didn’t even blink at the reference. He knows.

Michiganders. With their Vernors and their cheesy potatoes. So silly. So solid.

To the extremes of Brooklyn we went. To where Kings County meets the ocean and the salt air greets you at the end of the train line, along with carnival games and death defying rollercoaster rides. To locals Cyclones baseball. To Nathan’s hotdogs that are cheaper at the ballpark than on the boardwalk. To little girls dressed in Irish clog outfits on Irish Pride night and uncles who explain the game to children with chants they will learn to repeat with reverence, who in turn will teach future generations.

The romance is pervasive.

We drank. We spectated. We ate cheese fries. We captured ephemera in still and moving picture. And we talked about all things Rigdon. Our future summer plans. A life I willed into being when another year in Tucson seemed oppressive and respites spent in Nogales hung heavy, fraught with refugee crises and well-intentioned white saviors, that catapulted me into the east coast present I now find remarkable and mundane by turns.

So here I sit, in the near midnight air, hip hop fueling my almost sober fingers as I relate to you that this heart, once pushed passed capacity of all feeling, thumps true. Little Vene, so satisfied with unrequited love, priming a pump for the day when love would be requited, tells you with faith justified that true love lives. But its form has transmuted into one of mutual affection and artistic propulsion. More sedate. More permanent. More effective. A burning that lasts without question of, “But do you love me?”

Of course there is love. It is registered in days spent back to back with someone to whom I confess, “I have needs. I cannot write unless these needs are met.”

And to wit he replies, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

He is my benefactor and you his unintentional recipients of love transmuted. Love is patient. It can last nine innings and the possibility that more will follow. It can span a curse of decades. It can transform desperation into fruition. If only you are willing to trust the process.

Good night my friends.

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