It's February and it's mother-unbelievable cold - so I am thinking of baseball. Not spring training, or the upcoming season openers, but baseball in fiction. Baseball plays a large metaphorical part in my novel Correction Line. I find the game inspirational, fiction-wise I mean, even more than the actual watching of games. Hey, I've sat through a few 13 inning pitcher's duel bored out of my skull with some guying yelling "Get your Red Hots" about every ten minutes in my ear. It wasn't pretty.
But like my favorite fiction it is the undercurrent of the game that gets me. Maybe that's why I love listening to games on the radio more than watching them on TV. The sound seems to come from a great distance, maybe another planet. You can hear the rumble of the crowd and the echo in the announcer's voice.
Best of all, you have to visualize every hit, run and at the wall catch.
I still remember being stuck in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin, at a great-uncle's place, drinking Olympia beer and listening to the Brewers and the Reds. I don't remember who won, or even how we ended up at his place - but I can see the scene in my mind, and the undercurrent of being 18 years old and wondering what was going to happen next.
When I read the prologue to Don DeLillo's Underworld (Pafko at the Wall), I had that same sensation that I had felt in Wisconsin - what in the hell will happen next.
I want to create moments like that.
Link to what I consider the best DeLillo site anywhere Don DeLillo's America