On a whim, I stop by a sporting goods store on the way home.
Before I go inside, I flip down the sun visor and glance in the mirror. My hair is looking a little crazy, but after a minute of trying to press it into submission, I give up. My inspiration was this: just about every sport has got something that you could kill someone with. Golf has got clubs, hockey has got sticks, cricket has got those big paddles, tennis – rackets, croquet – mallets, football is tricky, but I think that if you were dedicated, you could do a lot of damage with a helmet. For him, I was thinking baseball. After that big fight we had over his stupid baseball card collection, and he lost all that money betting on the Yankees that one time, and how he never does anything when there’s a game on, I think it’s the obvious choice. My face starts twitching just thinking about him sitting there on the couch in that idiotic jersey, beer in hand, shouting at the TV while I’m in the kitchen chopping ferociously at the vegetables for the meal that he plans on enjoying when his precious game is over.
I try to put that all away for now. There are a lot of bats to choose from. I grab the biggest one I see and inspect it. It’s surprisingly light, but I guess they all are these days. The body of it goes from gold to silver and has the word “Torque” painted on it in big, red letters. I close my eyes and savor its cold, aluminum surface, the supple rubber grip, and pour my hate into the thing. The adrenaline is making me feel heady, and while I’m making my way to the counter, my brain feels like it’s ballooning outside of itself.
“Is that all for you ma’am?”
“Yes.” I fumble around in my purse for a credit card.
“Just a bat?”
“It’s for my son. He’s starting practice.”
“You sure it’s the right size? This is a big ol’ bat for-”
“He’s a big fucking kid, just charge the damn card, would you, please?!”
“Jeez, alright lady, calm down.” He’s got greasy hair that curls down just above beady brown eyes, and I don’t like the look they give me when he slides the card back to me.
I put my purchase on the floor of the passenger seat and head home.