The 33-56 Astros face the 35-54 Padres at Whale’s Vagina Park. Ugly, ugly baseball will ensue.
The Engineer woke to a throbbing headache, bloodshot eyes and a taste that felt like he’d been sucking a dirty sock – ahh Saturday. He found a cigarette on the bedside table and began to piece together his movements from the night before. Water volleyball with the girls at the pool for happy hour. Back to his apartment to fire up the grill. Someone made a beer run. Someone else made a bottle run. He searched his pockets and found a crumpled receipt for cigarettes – looks like he made the smoke run. He was mostly certain he didn’t go anywhere else, that the party continued in his apartment or someone else’s. The Woodway Square management didn’t mind. The complex had a Club downstairs that sold drink setups – they wanted people to party there. One look at the pool on a Friday afternoon and the “No” on the vacancy sign lit up out front. Didn’t matter what they charged.
He remembered the Roommate leaving at some point in the night, but he didn’t know where he went or if he came back. The Roommate was a bit crazier than most, but that’s why the Engineer liked him – he made life more interesting. The mirrorball and smoke machine in the living room; the limousine-driver high school friend; the pot connection. All great resources for a 26-year-old Vietnam vet.
The Engineer wandered into the living room to search for more clues. No sign of the Roommate. He picked up the empties and rinsed the ashtrays. Opened the window for ventilation. Lit another cigarette and waited for life to start up again.
The front door slammed open. The Roommate, still awake, still drunk, still crazy, emerged with a bottle of rum in his right hand and a covered animal cage in his left.
“What’s in the cage?” the Engineer asked.
“You’re never going to believe it,” the Roommate beamed. “The girls are going to LOVE this!”
“What’s in the fucking cage?”
With a magician’s flair, the Roommate whipped the drape off and revealed his life’s proudest procurement.
Monday – Happ (6-9, 5.14) vs Wells (1-2, 2.50)
Tuesday – Lyles (2-5, 5.08) vs Ohlendorf (2-0, 7.41)
Wednesday – Wandy (7-7, 3.51) vs Richard (6-10, 3.83)
Thursday – Harrell (7-6, 4.43) vs Volquez (5-7, 3.69)
The Engineer was asleep by the pool, the Flight Attendant dozing in the deck chair next to him. They’d been seeing each other for a couple weeks, ever since she moved from Los Angeles. He thought he liked her, knew she liked him, and for the most part enjoyed having somebody pretty to tag along for the ride. He had spent most of his waking hours by the pool for the past week, determined to stay away from his apartment as much as possible.
The Engineer hated that fucking monkey. Woodway Square had a No Pets policy, but the drunk St. Bernard who frequented the pool pretty much negated that. They kept the monkey locked in its cage, but it was loud, it smelled, and it flung shit all over the apartment. They living room had been newly decorated with electric-blue plastic tarps, and they were too scared to let the monkey out of its cage. They didn’t even name it.
The Engineer woke to the sound of sobbing.
The Roommate stood above them, again drunk, again crazy, with a bottle of gin in his right hand and the monkey thrown over his left shoulder, dead.
Astros – Castro and Lowrie newly placed on the DL. Escalona and Weiland out for the season.
Padres – Bartlett, Bass, Blanks, Cashner, Darnell, Hermida, Luebke, Moseley, Stauffer, Stults, Wieland out for various periods of time.
They didn’t know how the monkey died. The Engineer grew up with a love of all animals, and while he was happy to be rid of the thing, he was sad it died. And he was adamant that the Roommate bury the animal. As fair trade, the Engineer offered to perform the burial for the Roommate’s alligator-skin boots.
It was dark. The Engineer (shirtless, swim trunks and alligator-skin boots), the Flight Attendant (bikini) and the Roommate (jeans, barefoot) walked slowly along the 610 feeder. Every quarter-mile or so the Roommate would stop, take a swig from the bottle, then pour a drink in the dead monkey’s mouth. He didn’t try to revive it when he found it (for fear the monkey would chew his face off during CPR), but he figured a little gin couldn’t hurt.
They found a grassy spot not far from the apartment, dug a three-foot grave and buried the animal. They drank from the gin bottle, smoked cigarettes and watched the passing headlights in silence. When the moment passed, the Engineer simply said, “sorry,” and left. The Flight Attendant and Roommate followed.
Monday – nothing.
Tuesday – Dog Days of Summer (I assume bring your dog to the park?)
Wednesday – nothing.
Thursday – 10,000 Padres sunglasses.
Woodway Square burned to the ground seven years later (it turns out wood shingles and wood siding are flammable), but the parties ended years before. The Roommate skipped town in a drunken fit a week after the burial and hadn’t been seen or heard from since. The Engineer and the Flight Attendant married a year later.
They had a son.
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