The game ended soon after and the dome slowly emptied. Men in dark blue jump-suits with wide yellow brooms began running as fast as they could down the aisles, sweeping away the cups, shells, bags, boxes, and scorecards in their path. In the nose-bleeds, the guy who’d been carrying around the sodas finally sat down and had one for himself. My mom came down the stairs after a few minutes, holding tight to the railing, watching her feet as they moved.
“You ready,” she said, looking like she just woke up.
“Did you see his catch?” my dad asked.
I held my glove open to show her the ball.
“You caught a homerun ball?”
She bent forward to look closely at the ball.
“A foul ball,” I said.
She leaned back away and shrugged.
“Oh. Just the same. You can just tell everyone it was a homerun. That sounds much -better. You can bring it to school. For show-and-tell in the fall. You show everyone the ball and tell them it was a homerun. We’ll keep it on the shelf. Write ‘Calvin’s Homerun Ball’ on it.”
“But it wasn’t a homerun,” I said, “it was a foul ball.”
And I didn’t want to bring it to school, everybody would want to touch it and they would ruin it. And I didn’t want to tell people it was a homerun ball, because there wasn’t even a homerun in the game. It was a foul ball. And I didn’t want her to write on it, she didn’t even see me catch it. That would ruin it too. I didn’t want the ball to show it off, I wanted it to remember the game. My dad pulled me up the stairs to go home. Mom trailed behind, holding tight to the railing, watching her feet as they moved.