Kid Sprocket doesn’t speak right, says don’t where doesn’t belongs, but he can wire up a light fixture or replace a spark plug. He learned a few rules and mechanical trades and then said the hell with it.
“Gotta swagger my own way to the plate and to hell what everybody else says.”
Critics scare people into someone they ain’t, Sprocket says. He saw this happen to friends. One spoke with exaggerated politeness and another posed as Charles Bukowski. Anyway you slice it, civil war ensues, us versus them all inside their heads. Sprocket knows pollution. He likes rusted grain silos and considers a critic’s words far worse than the sweet smell of bus exhaust.
He walks over the Mercier bridge, connects The Kahnawake Reservation to Montreal island. He walks it just about every day, back and forth, real slow. That’s where he met Bob Lumen.
Bob is fat and likes weak ideas, makes up little rhymes and enjoys sharing a burger at a local restaurant. He’s also a collector of beautiful girls and any girl willing to get naked is beautiful to Bob. He has thousands of naked girl photos in his collection. They wear all kinds of bizarre costumes; breasts squeezed by OshKosh B’gosh overalls, hairy erotic zones through the webs of first baseman gloves .
Critics call Bob a pervert. Feminists say he takes advantage of women. Baseball coaches feel ashamed. But the girls look happy and Bob lets them do most of the talking..
Kid Sprocket visits Bob after work, just about every day. The Kid sits stiff, uptight and fully dressed on an old plaid couch. Naked girls slither across Kid Sprocket’s lap and he doesn’t like it, moves closer to the window and thinks about Run Hunt contorting into another hit by pitch. Bob calls Kid Sprocket- “The Dentist” and draws pictures of him on the backs of envelopes.
Vern is the girl with a bird on her shoulder. She also likes to draw, especially the Montreal Expos logo. She sees dozens of possibilities in the tri-colored, curly cue lettering, but still isn’t sure what it symbolizes. No one is, except Kid Sprocket.
They all like to sit on the porch at sunset and hand out the drawings to strangers who accept the gift and recite the names of Expo players in return. It’s a black market situation; sketches for sounds. Manny Mota, Mike Marshall, Larry Lintz, Wayne Twitchell, Claude Raymond, Rodney Scott, Bill Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, but no one knows what the Expo emblem really stands for.
Some of the girls fall asleep on the porch. Others walk past the oil refineries of Montreal’s East end and watch the ships get swallowed by the naked St. Lawrence river meeting the naked sky. Bob and Kid Sprocket go back inside. Bob scribbles Native American faces over European paintings. Kid Sprocket hears the violin player atop the Montreal Expos Jarry Park dugout. Nothing seems dead.