Lucky Number Seven
Bernie Williams draws an imaginary line in the homeplate dirt.
Nomar adjusts the Velcro on his batting
gloves. Derek Jeter talks to fans.
Hitters have routines.
Casey does, too.
Every night, he sits down at the desk at the same time, exactly
twenty-five minutes after the hour, because
two plus five is seven, and that's not just lucky, it's Mantle's number, the number of greatness. Once
the countdown begins, he waits for the seven-second mark to make a joke under his breath.
When Danny smiles--superstitious though it might be--Casey
just knows it's going to be a good show.
The Prevent Defense
In football, they call it the prevent defense, giving up yards
to take time off the clock, a timid
approach, much maligned.
Casey has mocked it himself, and yet, it's still his strategy
for fighting his feelings for Danny. He
gives in to the occasional touch, the rare lingering glance, waiting for the desire to run itself out.
Lately, though, he's begun to think attraction may be more
like baseball; it just goes on until you win
or lose. And when Danny touches him back, returns his lingering glances, he has to wonder if what
he's really preventing is happiness.