John Dedeke

Dynamic Writer Guy

Between Innings

Prose, PhotographyJohn DedekeComment

Somebody melted gold and poured it all over the sky, and now it's starting to seep through the holes of the chain-link walls of the batting cages. 

Allison leans back and presses herself against the glowing fence, her mane of dark, wavy hair widening around her face. For a second she disappears from my sight, lost between the eclipse and my overtinted sunglasses. She pulls herself tighter into the hooded sweatshirt she's wearing and shakes away a brisk breeze. Behind me I hear competing grunts and metallic dings as the guys punt yellow balls in various directions.  

"Yeah," Allison yells at them in mock praise, "Give it to them balls." 

*Ding*

The cages sprawl around us on uneven ground, the result of decades of haphazard expansion. I think of the rambling hillside towns I saw in my semseter in Italy and I want wine and gelato. 

*Ding*

I move over to Allison's side and burrow into her for warmth. The guys in the cage exchange words and laugh, go back to swinging. I can't remember why we came here but I don't want to leave. 

*Ding*

I watch fallen balls roll around the the floor of the cages and wonder what will happen when the gold turns to purple around us and the batting cages close and everybody goes on with their lives until they don't go on anymore. 

*Ding*

The speakers mounted around the place are playing Ke$ha or Katy Perry or somebody and Allison and I start swaying and pretending like we know what we're doing. 

*Ding*

Boys from a junior high baseball team are taking whacks in a nearby cage and one of them turns and watches me and Allison and I think that kid wants to be cool someday and I hope he gets to be. 

*Ding*

The guys run out of tokens and we start walking toward the parking lot, past the miniature golf course next to the cages. I turn back and see the kid still watching us and blow him a kiss. 

*Ding*

A fake gorilla stands on all fours near the back corner of the golf course, its black fiberglass rump jutting out from the rear, prone. 

Allison growls, "I can do dirty things to that gorilla," but everybody keeps walking and so we drift by it and out to the parking lot as the sun dies behind us.