Touch ’em All Chapter 8 : What It Is, Is Badass
GAME THREE. APRIL 29, 2013. ATLANTA.
We’re standing for the final out—because you’re supposed to do that—which is a popup to a first baseman who has been catching popups since he was seven and therefore never misses them, after which the Braves players line up in the infield for their high fives and fist bumps, and we join the happy crowd—happy that tonight was their night—making their way to the Centerfield Plaza. Where there is a Team Store, and a hat pin rack. And where there is a giant, snow white baseball, with the Braves’ red tomahawk painted across its middle, near the store’s exit. Someone passing by offers to take our picture in front of the baseball, which is why it’s there, and we are still standing near the ball, putting our Atlanta Braves pins on our Tampa and Houston hats, when a young black couple, dressed in Atlanta white and red, walks up to the ball, and asks if we will take their picture. Actually, just the girl, whose very white Atlanta jersey looks to be very expensive, and very new, asks. The guy backs away a step or two, muttering something, possibly about our being Rays and Astros, though there are other things he may have been muttering. He is in any event not sure he wants to do that, he says. And he is not joking.
“We have a story!” Vicki says, and he backs away further, shaking his head. It’s not clear why he’s backing away.
“It’s a good story,” Vicki says. And she tells them. Or she tells the girl.
“Oh, that sounds nice,” the girl says. She says this politely.
The guy stops backing away, but doesn’t say anything. Vicki smiles anyway.
“There’s a great many of them, aren’t there?” the girl asks. And Vicki tells her that yes, there are a great many of them.
“How nice,” the girl says again.
“For fucking real?” the guy says now.
“That should be fun,” the girl says.
“For fucking real?” he says. The girl is handing Vicki her phone.
“That’s bad ass,” he says, coming a little closer now.
“It is,” Vicki says.
“I would do that for football,” he says. And here he makes a sniffing sound, one that is very nearly a snorting sound. “That would be fucking cool for real if it was football,” he says.
But we take their picture anyway.
And when someone else takes your photo, you can’t really complain that it’s blurry.