Laramie Lou slipped out of bed, stood up, faced east, and chanted, “If Hack Wilson can drive in 191 RBI’s in a single season, then I can be happy today. It was a ritual he did, but not by rote, because the feat changed every waking day, from most HBP to fewest walks per nine and yet, still no happiness for Laramie Lou. And then it got even worse, there were no words, nothing audible anyway, only spit dribble lips silence, not a sound. Laramie Lou had lost his voice and a panic ensued for he suddenly knew he’d never speak Greek, Hebrew, Xhosa, Navajo, or Etruscan; he’d never know each language’s secrets to happiness, no 37 different names for 37 kinds of winds and so he rolled over, ducked under his wool quilt and slept and dreamed of a lady with a Russian accent. She had still blue eyes. He braved her serenity and stared into those eyes, held it long enough to feel her right knee buckle and shoulders shrug and when he awoke, he knew god was close.
The morning bird watchers swore they heard Laramie Lou scream all night long, “sing some brass…drink a flask.” That’s why he lost his voice, they insisted. The newspaper delivery men disagreed. They heard something different.. “fling it crass, wear a mask” and so the kinfolk argued and debated and creeds were drawn.
Laramie Lou looked left and then right, noticed each side cheering their own kind and so he walked straight, between the masses, mowing down the fog. He walked for hours, until the Mataloosa bridge. He slipped down the slope and there it was…a surprise, a 1966 Bert Campenaris baseball card, curled corners, faded colors, looking like a melted LP, but it was Campenaris alright, so with diamond nine, metal mind, Laramie Lou slid in silence back to slave labor frito lay conveyor belt double shift and then cleaning offices at night, grave digger Richie Hebner dawn, and back home, to do the dishes and laundry and writing holiday cards with real picture stamps and a trip to the standing in line post office – old men without glasses, big eyed ladies reading books, boys with backpacks, and Laramie Lou enjoyed a silent stare at the ho hum cashier, her first name pinned to her uniform, Darleene, her pleasant holiday greetings and maybe a future writing on note cards with her, sharing a brandy fused coffee, poor old mute Laramie Lou…all of it still a miracle.