Woe is Bryan Clutterbuck. He doesn’t like clouds, he doesn’t like Canada, and he doesn’t like coffee! Bryan Clutterbuck probably doesn’t even like baseball any more. Also, he has a cold.
The El Paso Ambulators!
Bryan Clutterbuck used to have a nice little butcher shop in Texas, regular poker game in the back after hours, sponsored a softball team. Those were the days. Big meat, loyal regulars, bone cleavers at the ready. The young Widow Johnson once made a pass at him; she went on to remarry, but not to Bryan Clutterbuck. Alas.
Now, here sits Bryan Clutterbuck with his shitty Wilson glove and his increasingly transparent skin, awaiting a call on the bullpen phone that will never come. Bah, probably for the better anyway: Bryan Clutterbuck is tired of these rubber jackets. You wear them once and they stink forever.
Bryan Clutterbuck has cleaned himself up: a trim, a shave, a week of mud masks and cucumber balm — the latter of which Bryan Clutterbuck was previously unaware. He’s decided this will be his last season humping the professional baseball grind. In fact he won’t even finish the season. It’s June, and June is the best month to move. Bryan Clutterbuck will head back to El Paso, by way of Wayne County, Michigan — he’ll have to explain to his mother that his baseball career is over.
But the rest of his life is just beginning, Bryan Clutterbuck will tell his mother. He’s secured a storefront in El Paso, he’s been practicing his cleaver flipping. Hopes to have a little deli, eventually. Hopes to have a garden out back, have a some kids, make love to everyday life every day.
Yes, Bryan Clutterbuck is moving on. It’s been real, baseball, though Bryan Clutterbuck wishes now that it hadn’t been. But he’s not yet thirty years old. The sun is shining; Bryan Clutterbuck feels as if it’s shining just for him.
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