It was August 2nd at around 6pm when I heard the news that Thurman Munson, the catcher for the Yankees, had been killed in a plane crash. I was a big baseball fan and although I never liked the Yankees, I did love Thurman. He was a hard nose catcher and that position is the general’s position if the role is taken on the right way.
Of course, I walked to the river and I sat on my rock. I was in tears and feeling vulnerable when I heard a rustling behind me. I jumped up and I saw Jacklyn.
“When did you get back?” I asked her.
“Are you ok?” She asked me.
“Yeah, how was your trip?”
“It was boring. All I did was listen to the radio and hang out with my cousins.”
“Hanging out with your cousins doesn’t sound so bad.”
“They are younger than I am and I felt like I was babysitting them.”
“It wasn’t all that bad; but you know my mother was constantly bothering me about cleaning up and doing summer reading.”
She continued to tell me about her “boring” trip while I avoided telling her about my previous week with Sandy.
The river seemed to be picking up speed and the sky was getting cloudy and dark. We stood to walk and then she embraced me. I went to kiss her and she turned away.
“What are you doing?” She asked me.
“I wanted to kiss you.”
“I am not – I don’t know…” She looked down and sat on my rock.
“What’s wrong? I didn’t mean to-”
“It’s fine, it’s just that – I was with another boy last week.”
I was silent – I was angry for a split second and then I realized how stupid I was being. This was a way to let her know that I was also with another person.
“It’s ok. We are young and we were apart. Do you like this guy?”
“I liked him but I think it was just what my mom called a ‘fling.’”
“OK. did you kiss him?”
She was silent and then I laughed.
“Hey – I was with a girl last week and we had a ‘fling’ too.” I was laughing but she was angry. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing; I don’t know why I am hurt when I did the same thing. I guess I just, I don’t know what.”
I sat beside her and I put my lips to hers…
It was a humid evening and the Rabbi pronounced us man and wife. The river was roaring past us as the sun beat down on the altar and the glass was shattered.
Later on that evening, I thought about the years that had passed and wondered if they were simply a scene set up for this scene. I could only remember scattered scenes and dialogue, props and co-stars and cameos. I closed my eyes and felt warm. I went to open the window and suddenly I could hear the roaring, muttering and the stuttering of the river…but I could not understand just what my old friend was trying to say.