Baseball is always relaxing, you said our last summer on the couch – in cancer's coma, limbs like bats in a rack, game over – as the Phillies, two years ago the winningest team in baseball, were losing, losing. Loss wasn't as fun for us. But the men were good men, trying as hard as men can, mostly failing, and you loved them. And you loved life around a diamond, a gem of time, a few hours when you could defer to fate, be a fan, a hopeful person, winning never out of the question until the last second, when the small dense ball massed into a mitt and they lost, you lost – my favorite enthusiast – and I lost.
Tonight I lie on the couch where you died and narrate the ninth to another women who has fallen in love with the game, my game. She admires a man who doesn't stop when he is losing, a determined man, a man who endures an ending, plays again.
I can never