A Baseball Story at the Break

Among other things Guts has been a political story, a Mother’s Day story, a Father’s Day story, and a Fourth of July story. Today it’s a baseball story again. If you’re not watching the MLB All-Stars fireworks tonight—or looking for something to read during the commercial breaks between innings—have a look at Guts. This was my first story to see the light of day, published by Atticus Review almost four years ago.


George craves the syringe with an addict’s distress. I have one thumb on the plunger. I put the other in his mouth. The plastic syringe tip curves along my crooked thumb between George’s lips. I press the plunger carefully and let the milk flow.

The ruddy face of Senator Teflon–that’s my name for him–fills the television. He speaks aggressively, his head jerking up and down. The TV is muted. For all I know, Teflon’s gobbling like a turkey. Both hands occupied, I have no way to change the channel.

“What’s that thing called?” I ask George’s mother. “Hangs off a turkey’s chin?”

“Turn that off.” She glances over her shoulder at the TV. She sits upright on the straight-backed chair holding plastic cones over her breasts.

“The gizzard?”

“Why is it even on?”

“The giblet?”

“Where’s the remote?”

“The giblet?”

“Where’s the remote?”


Her antipathy towards the television began a month ago, with George’s new diet. Before that she would have begged me not to turn it off, not to change Teflon’s face as I flipped past News in search of Baseball. A month ago, she would have seen Teflon’s presence as an opportunity to insist on change.

“He represents Nobody but himself and those other barnyard animals up there.”



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