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The 2011 Mariners, as told by William Faulkner

 

Through the knot-holed fence, between the diamond-shaved spaces, I could see them not hitting.  They were coming toward where the white was and I looked along the fence.  Lester was hunting in the grass by the hill.  They took the wood out, and they weren’t hitting.  Then they put the wood back and they went to the bench, and he didn’t hit and the other didn’t hit.  Then they went on, and I went along the fence.  Lester came away from the hill and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the knothole in the fence while Lester was hunting in the grass.

"Here, batter."  He didn’t hit.  They went away across the pasture.  I held to the fence and I watched them going away.

 

 

When the shadow of the lights appeared on the grass it was between seven and eight oclock and I was in time again, hearing the game.  It was Grandfather’s and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and memory; it’s rather excrutiating-ly apt that you will watch it to grain the reducto absurdism of all human experience that can fit your individual team no better than it did his or his fathers’.  I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend your whole breath trying to conquer it.  Because no game is ever won he said.  They are not even played.  The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of broadcasters and fools.

It was propped against the collar box and I lay listening to it.  Hearing it, that is.  I don’t suppose anybody ever deliberately listens to a baseball game.  You don’t have to.  You can be oblivious to the sound for a long while, then in a second of noise it can create in the mind unbroken the long diminishing parade of time you didn’t hear.  Like Father said down the long and lonely light-rays you might see DeJesus walking, like.

 

 

jack walks into the box and hes fighting.  hes not hitting but hes working hard working pitches and the balls arent going through people get judged by results and what is a man but his batting average?  there is no room in this world for good men but only men who are good at things

two hopper to pedroia on the edge of the grass I am being punished makes the throw and there’s one away

next is olivo with a real joy for the game, a real fire that will die away we are being and be forgotten save on cardboard and the eyebrows hidden behind the mask will be forgotten and the warning track power a long pause before failure we believed there had to be a reason if there is no reason then what are we doing?

kennedy with two down what have I done to be given men like these Silva was punishment enough and now for them to have no more regard for me I’ve suffered for them dreamed and planned and sacrificed eighth-days at a time I went down into the valley

kennedy in the four-hole a proven veteran knows how to advance the runner.  a runner.  the idea of a runner, the invisible runner the platonic form of running.  if the runner had been going that would have scooted right on through we are being punished tape tearing off hair we are being punished for vidro for calderon we are being punished for schultz

 

 

I can see them through the knot-holed fence.  "Shut up that moaning," Lester said.

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