As I walked to Yankee Stadium I reflected upon the means that Smedjebakken had devised for our meeting. With seven pieces of information printed on a little piece of cardboard (Yankee Stadium, the gate, the section, the row, the seat, the date, and the time) you could, with machinelike certainty, bring two people from entirely disparate parts of the earth to positions side by side at a particular instant.Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case (paperback, pp. 321-323)
This, I thought, might be a way to salvage the potential of normally wasted encounters, such as sharing a train car on a late summer's afternoon with a woman as beautiful as summer itself. I sometimes think back to the earlier years of the century and women I saw then ...
If only I had seized those moments, but I was almost always too shy. A ticket, though, to some public event -- a baseball game, a lecture, a concert -- might allow the woman to whom you presented it to reflect at length upon her short memory of you on some public conveyance, and perhaps to be enchanted. And if she didn't show, you could at least enjoy a baseball game, a lecture, or a concert, sitting next to a mournfully empty seat.
Smedjebakken was no woman, and the sight of him sitting in Yankee Stadium, with a cardboard box of baseball food on his lap, jarred me from my revery.
"What's that?" I asked, pointing to the food in the box.
"This is food," he answered. "You've heard of it?" ...
"Beer," he said, handing me a paper cup. "My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer."
"It smells like a urine sample," I said, sniffing at it.
"Yes," he said. "One of them is a urine sample that I'm supposed to deliver to my urologist. And one is beer. Who knows which is which?"
February 24, 2011
Seven Pieces Of Information
Does anyone have any favourite examples of baseball being mentioned in non-baseball novels? Here is one that Laura shared with me years ago.
by allan at 11:41 AM