I woke up this morning hopping that I feel much better today. It’s not that I’m sick from a flu or infection it’s just this dam sunburn I got two days ago when I went to Coney Island with my sister. I had such a great time splashing in the ocean and jumping into the waves. The sunburn was so bad I just couldn’t move without feeling sharp pains on my back and legs.
My Mom is so piss-off at my sister for going off with some boy she met and leaving me alone and asleep to fry on the beach blanket.
She really caught hell from my Mom and Dad. Don’t get me wrong, except for the pain; I loved all the attention my parents were giving me.
For me, the icing on the cake is that my sister is now in the “Shit House.”
Two days in our apartment is starting to get me crazy. I don’t want to show my parents that I am feeling a lot better. I think the Noxzema my Mom put on my back and legs made the burn just about go away. The problem is that once I tell them that I feel better and I want to go outside, the sooner my sister will be out of the “Shit House.”
I don’t know why I can be so mean some times. She did take me to Coney Island, she bought me a hot dog and she gave me money for the Penny Arcade so now I feel guilty. Ok,ok, I better let her off the hook. No sooner I was thinking about all this stuff I hear Pecker calling out to me from my open window, “hey Keno, where the hell are you? I haven’t seen you for days; get your ass down here.” I yell back “Hey Pecker, I’ll be down in about fifteen minutes.”
I told my Mom that I felt much better and she looked up and said “getta outta here.” It’s the she way she said it, made me think that she had enough too. So I got dress and ran down the steps as fast as I could.
I find Pecker around the corner with Jimmy Pizza and Henry. I say “what’s up?” Pecker says “we haven’t seen you for so long we thought you were dead.” “Dead; well you see I went to Coney Island with my sister three days ago and had a great time. We went on the parachute jump, the cyclone roller costar ride, the giant Ferris wheel, the merry go round. They are both looking at me with their mouths open wide and then in the middle of my Coney Island story Henry said “Stop! You are so full of it.” I said “yeah, but I did get to go to the Penny Arcade and I did jump in the ocean to cool off. But I got such bad sunburn, I couldn’t move for days. You guys have any plans for today?”
Pecker says “yeah, we’re meeting up with our gang to play stickball this afternoon.” Wow, stickball is such a great game. Henry says “Reno fished another Spaldeen ball out of the sewer yesterday and I found an old broom that I cut so we have a bat to play with. All we need is a flat brick wall and some chalk.” We walked to Nelson Street to meet up with the guys.
We found a wall we could use at the Cardinal Tank factory across the street from P.S. 27. Jimmy Pizza brought some chalk to draw the box on the wall for the strike zone. Stickball is a little like baseball and stoopball combination. Just like baseball the batter stands in front of the strike zone box we chalked on the wall. There could be three or four player on each team and one umpire. Like stoopball we have a home run zone, triple zone and a double zone. Then we set up one base to run to just in case the batter hits a ground ball. If the batter hits a fly ball and it’s caught, you’re out. If it’s not caught the batter tries to get to the base before being thrown out. If you reach the base without being tagged you’re safe and there’s a man on base. No one stays on base.
A team can only have a maximum of three men on base at a time. If the battier hits the ball into one of the high fly zones he will get either a home run, double or triple automatically. If your team has any base runners at that time, depending on the zone the ball is hit into, can bring home one, two or three runners into home base.
Don’t forget we also have a strike zone and an umpire calling strikes and balls. We always give the umpire job to one of the old guys hanging around the neighborhood. Just like Baseball there are three strikes and you’re out or four balls will put a man on base and if you team gets three outs the next team gets their chance at bat. The team that reaches 21 points first, wins the game.
We choose sides we end up with three men on each team and Papa Joe as the empire. The game went on for almost three hours and we didn’t break any windows on the school building. Our team, me, Reno and Jimmy Pizza, ruled the day. Henry, Pecker and six fingers Ricardo are the losers. By the end of the day was wiped out. The sunburn was not completely gone and running around playing stickball for almost three hours was too much for me. So after our victory dance I told the guys that I was heading home.
On the way home I see Joanie, Janie and a couple of girls playing jacks with Joy my Boxer lying down next to them. Joanie calls out “hey Pepino come play with us.” “No way; I can’t be seen playing a girls game, the guys will laugh me out of the neighborhood.” She kept on taunting me “come on you can do it.” To tell the truth I wouldn’t play with them even if I could because they will whip my ass.
The girls will bounce that little red ball and grab one jack and catch the ball before it hits the ground, then do the same and grab two, then three, then four jacks until one player misses. The player that bounces that little red ball and can grab all the jacks before the ball hits the ground is the winner. I don’t think I can stand losing to those girls and that’s why I don’t play with them. Just call me “CHICKEN!” I wave back to Joanie and continue my way home.