Terminal Hedwig had no idea how he got there – to those railroad tracks high above a deep gorge with a slip through the ties a certain death.
“how ?” he kept asking himself. a drunken wander? abducted by a cult? extra terrestrial parachute? suicidal leaning?”
he didn’t breath too deep. didn’t want to rattle his body one way or the other and slip through the ties, so instead, he carefully, with a sudden will to live, tiptoed to the other side, the safe side, to the rest of his days, some sort of 12th chance or however many it would be and next thing he knew he was flat on his back, staring up at a late afternoon sky, the shapes of clouds like those of a naked, skinny-to-the-bone prisoner of war, a rib cage sky, and he cried as he lay there and then, his belly boiled, hotter than a heating pad followed by a sudden burst from somewhere within him or outside him and a realization that it didn’t matter where it came from.
it had happened and he shot up like he’d been jabbed with epineprine and there he was, standing on the outfield grass of some diamond or field or yard, a pitcher’s mound in place but not much else, no bases or traces of dugouts, only that mound and what lay beneath it…ghosts? dead ancestor bones? both?
Terminal Hedwig knew in his gut that he had defied death, gravity too. he raced around what were once probably bases, round and around he raced and stumbled and fell and got up and raced until he could breath no more and then he thought about beer and green tea and knew that some days called for one and others days called for the other. The sun was settling now and the clouds along the horizons were orange and purple, a time to celebrate, a time for beer.
he reached into his pocket and felt some paper, six-20 dollar bills….. enough for a 12 pack of Pabst cans and three nights at the droopy-eyed motel and its stained carpets, smell of a damp basement, 25 cent vibrating beds, mirrors on the ceiling, artifacts of what once were but would probably never be again. he spotted a newspaper on the dresser, beside the bed and that paper had the funnies and a sports page with box scores and it wasn’t from that day or even that year, but it didn’t matter because as he was reading it, he forgot about the experiment he was a part of, this life thing that involved death and then he looked towards the wall and there was a tv and he turned it on and there was cable and the mariners were playing the diamondbacks at 7 and he didn’t know much about either team.
he popped a top on a pabst and then another and another and abracadabra it was suddenly 7 and the Mariners took the field.