The Dim Boy
After “The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field,” by Richard Hugo
The dim boy is at Spurgin Road Field again. Etan has tickets again.
The dim boy does not clap. Etan brings his four left fingers quickly and with practiced precision to a cupped right palm. Etan is performatively punctuating the unseen verse of the world. Etan occasions cuts and em-dashes and undiscovered punctuation where it is lacking, where time would otherwise flow crooked.
The dim boy does not clap because the others clap. Etan brings his hands together because he is watching the legation of flies between him and the only dandelion in the outfield. Etan sees that now they are quietly dancing in a new, difficult pattern, which Etan celebrates with a sound they can feel.
The dim boy does not look at the diamond. Etan sees an imbroglio of broken images and irresolute meanings. Etan is aware of the mound, the hats, the sandy crackle of peanut shells under his feet, the pitch count, the dark scuffing in the on-deck circle, the time, the wind, the pinstripes, the incandescent bulbs pixeling the scoreboard, the 324 cents on his person, and the umpire’s warm mask. Etan thinks that it is all dazzling and uncanny in its synchronicity. Etan sometimes has to move his slim fingers like this to keep his balance among the glittering smithereens.
The dim boy does not speak. Etan flutes a guttural sound, which the man next to him despairingly notes God, it’s like it’s coming from my own hindbrain and then what a fucking waste of tickets. Etan has his own vowel. Etan’s own vowel must come before and after a genuine smile. Etan cannot stop smiling at the variousness of the clouds and at the frosted, syrupy memory of Dippin’ Dots.
The dim boy does not drink Pepsi. Etan drank his favorite thing at home one hour before the top of the first. Etan had tomato juice, five glasses half full.
The dim boy does not seek to be understood. Etan has many things to express, but doubts that the hooting, cheering crowd of freaks at Spurgin Road Field would comprehend. Etan in this moment would rather feel the excited bleachers thrum in cahoots with the pinch runner’s red cleats.
The dim boy does not have a brother. Etan has a sister too beautiful to be prom queen. Etan will note, long from now, that she left home with a boy and did not come back for several baseball seasons.
The dim boy is at Spurgin Road Field Again. Etan has eyes brighter than the helmet lights of a cosmonaut.
Logo Wei and spouse live in the upper Midwest with their puckish quadruped. He has worked with patients, students and that enduring homelessness. Logo bakes, bikes and writes as solacing means of existence. Logo’s poetry has appeared or will appear in Pedestal Magazine, Ink & Voices, Parhelion, Panoply, and others.