above Maloney's bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the wall till 3 a.m. the vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the mattress. it was like being front row center at woodstock. paul keater had seen jimi hendrix play purple haze to close woodstock.
slowly his eyes open. who the hell is he fooling. even without the loud rock music he would not be able to sleep, anyway.
the wagon wheel bar sign outside his window blinks soft red neon into his room.
keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, and swings his legs off of the bed. he searches his mind for some distraction to pass away the night hours. he thinks about his x- wife. he remembers going to the phycologist to try and save his marriage.
"dump the *****," martlin said." paul keater laughs softly to himself. "I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." laughing to himself he reaches and switches on the lamp.
paul thinks about *******, surveys the foot high pile of magazines in the corner but instead spots his stack of baseball cards he had collected since when he was a boy. he walks over to the dresser. first, he puts on his giant baseball cap and then snatching the baseball cards, he plops down in the chair by the dresser.
the card on top is willie mays. he takes it in his hand. the card is not worn like some of the others. it looks brand new. although the cards are more than thirty years old he holds the deck up to his nose imagining he can smell the bubble gum that came with every pack of cards.
and he can. and he can hear the roar of the crowd. his team the giants is down three to two. the bases are loaded when willie mays comes to bat. the pitcher goes into the wind up. mays swings. it's a grand slam!
it was paul's tenth birthday. his dad had taken him to his first baseball game and his father bought him the willie mays card from a dealer. eagerly, he searches through the deck for the willie mays card. he finds it.
oblivious to the loud rock music filtering through his room, paul holds the card to his nose.
fondly, he remembers.
excerpt from a novel. doesn't quite work as a short story.