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Afternoon anthology

(Below, from Afternoon anthology,
a selection of the short stories
which gave official birth to Momentism)

Mary Morris | Jerry Stahl | Kevin Smith
Thurston Moore | T.C. Boyle | André Brink
Maggie Estep | Githa Hariharan


Mary Morris | New York, New York, USA
Thursday, April 19, 2001 | 5.50 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

[The American Pastime] It is the bottom of the seventh in a playing field in Park Slope, Brooklyn—the opening day of the baseball season. It is cold for late April and parents are shivering in windbreakers. Players jump up and down to stay warm. My daughter who is middle school catcher shakes her head at me. Her team is down l4 to 4. As I talk to her through the chainlink fence, our dog gets off the leash and runs across the playing field. The umpire declares him out. Laughter rises from the crowd until we hear the crack of a bat from behind us where the boys are playing. A fly ball heads our way and we duck as Andrew Giuliani, the son of the Mayor of New York, fields the ball after another teammate has missed the catch. The mayor watches from a smoky-glassed limousine as our boys score another run. A body guard with walkie talkie stands outside the car, yelling at the coach. In the field next to us a team of Hasidic Jews with yarmulkes, white linen shirts and long black pants, play hardball. And on a grassy hill in a spot of sun a hundred yards away a wedding with a priest is taking place. From the wedding a tenor sings as Italian aria. A man walking his dog says out loud, “Since I’m going to the wedding, do I get to go the reception?”. John, an old man who has been dubbed Mr. Baseball, is coaching from the sidelines. “You gotta get your attitude up. You acts like losers. If you act like losers, you’re gonna lose.” I have retrieved my dog and John is lecturing me. “The problem was those early walks. You walk’em, then you error, then you lose the game.” When I look up, the bases are loaded. Our team is having a rally, a surprise turn of events at the end of the game. The cold wind turns colder as the sun slips behind a cloud. Across the field the bride shivers. A long drive to center field brings in three runs. Another fly ball brings in a few more. The girls are jumping. The boys are gathering up their bases. The bride is now married as the mayor’s limousine turns and silently drives away.


From Afternoon Anthology (Leconte 2001)

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