The Big StretchAdrian Dallas Frandle
In every memory of them I have, Dad leaves
the game early during the 7th Inning Stretch.
I’ve spoken with several friends with similar
experiences of fathers packing up and departing
then. I imagine (and in a way it was) a coliseum
chock full of dads, gathering all at once
kids and belongings, scaling concrete stadium stairs
past the thousand orange plastic seats. Rush of parents,
hallways bottlenecking and bathroom lines endless
with various pairs of fathers and their kids
exiting. The parking lots were also bad, but not as bad
as the end of the game, Dad said. Some never made it
even as long as the 7th. But, from what I learned
from him, their situation would be no different. I hope
they, too, together listened rapt to those last few innings.
The radio fading out, then in, wavelike. Static
traffic finally lulling the son’s swaying head to rest
on his dark window. The figure next to him
limned golden in high beams. The ride home
would feel to him so fast, like blinking.