Rain was everywhere in the Bronx last night.
It slipped under collars and soaked through hats. The wind blew it under the roof and into the upper deck and it collected in puddles in the aisles and corridors of Yankee Stadium.
It was the same across River Avenue at Ball Park Lanes where Earl from Harlem leaned against the counter and brushed the rain from his coat.
“You can’t let the weather bother you,” he said. “It’s always gonna be here and so am I. Well, until I die.”
Earl smiled and reached into his pocket for the torn page of a poetry book.
“Langston Hughes,” he announced. “This one is called: Still Here.”
“I’ve been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.
Looks like between ‘em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’–
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!”
Earl folded the page and slipped it back in his pocket.
“I’ll still be here tomorrow,” he said. “And the next day and the next day and the next day, too. Baseball comes every day just like the weather.”