Monday, September 28, 2009

the onset of yom kippur brings on a cool clear fresh fall air, that makes leaves crisp and makes cars go faster on their way out to the country to saw logs for the winter, or whatever. it puts a quickness in people's pace, as if there's all of a sudden more work to be done, and the steamy yet dry september weather finally gives way letting people breathe and be outside at the same time. yet it's not a vacation season here, not the new year, not eid, not chusok, just the grinding end of a term that is as busy as ever, with on top of it, a broken dryer at home, and upcoming trips to peru and new jersey, in that order. though i'm not jewish, i certainly could repent for my sins, beg forgiveness and at the same time forgive all those who have stepped brutally on me and ground me into the mud with the sharp heels of their jack-boots. instead i tell my son the story of sandy koufax, and the dodgers, who in fact were the brooklyn trolley-dodgers and don't let anyone fool you because of that light blue and l-a type hat. well anyway he was jewish, and along with don drysdale was one of two excellent dodger pitchers in a world serious year series against the yankees i believe. and they might have had to beat the giants too to get there, so there were really three new york teams in that mix, and the big question was whether he would pitch on yom kippur, and if not, could the dodgers win anyway, or have him pitch three games of the series, if it didn't rain, which was out of the question for the part they were actually in l-a. but you see, they should never have even been in l-a, if they hadn't have gone, they could have had "pray for rain" as the extra pitcher. repent, new york, you let go of an entire team, and let them go out there and wear ocean blue.

don't even know if there are any jewish players this year, but i do know that the series doesn't even start these days until about halloween, so yom kippur can't play much of a role in years like this when the divisions are pretty much sewn up and the playoffs don't even start 'til the ticks are dead. one year there was a huge flood in our town on yom kippur, and another the indians were in the race, though this year they were pretty much wiped out on the sixth day of the season after they'd lost five in a row and it was pretty certain they could not get it back. so i've kind of lost track of who exactly is in the race, though i'm sure the yankees are in, and there are the dogs, out there in the west, looking mighty blue, and i guess the tigers and phillies too. so it could be a classic year, once the ticks are dead, maybe it's worth hanging around for.

don't know how they'll feel about all this down in peru, but i can tell you, in new jersey, they might be willing to talk about it. in jersey i spend some time on the newark-new york public transportation, and i can see if there are as many yankee hats as there were in the dominican republic, and see if i can tell by people's accents which side of the trolley tracks they jumped from. it's pure speculation to me; i've been "out west" for as long as i can remember, and when it gets cold enough to watch people's breath curl up above eye level, and mix with the steam from the steam grates, all i can do is marvel at the fact that there are steam grates at all, let alone that people are actually living on them. or maybe that was denver, during the snowstorm, but it all gets kind of mixed up in my memory. i can say this, it also brings to mind a single incident, which i'm sure is buried deep in this blog somewhere, one of the classic memories that sticks in my mind from the days i used to hitchhike in and around new york, on the triborough, the parkways, the busy highways that cut across the city. once a guy gave me a ride, and it was cold, maybe mid-november, air was crisp and it was night to boot. and he stopped to give another guy a ride, this one with a dusty pack but coming out of the airport area going west. and this guy said he was going to peru. peru, we both said, in amazement. i was going to, like, philly or something. he says, yeah. it should take me a few days. i'm coming from europe. wow, we both said again. well, he said, it's all worth it. believe me. it's worth it.

it was a cold and grim winter, but, somehow, i made it where i was going, and remembered the story. one lives, comes 'round to another year, repents, dusts off, and keeps on going. what else is there? wait 'til next year, indians fans. everyone gets a turn to beat the yankees, at least once.


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