May 14, 1958

I gripped the punk’s polo shirt in my left hand, readied my right fist to sock out his lights.

“Who the hell is Randy?” I asked Liz over my shoulder.
“Please, mister…” he squeaked, “I just run a pro shop at the club. Met her at a junior dance there one—”
“Shut up, Junior, before I make your dentist rich.” Turned to Liz. “Again. Who’s Randy?”
“Let him go, okay? He’s nothing. I mean, we went out to the movies once. The Bowl maybe. And he sent me some letters.”
“LOTS of letters!” he blurted, “And you didn’t answer a single one—”

I let go of his shirt. Squeezed his mouth instead. “Didn’t I tell you to shut up? Ladies don’t answer letters from creeps. Or peeping toms.”
“I wasn’t peeping, I swear—”
“Baloney. Two out of four nights I’ve been up here you’ve been outside her window. What do you call that?”
“LOVE!!”

I stared at Randy for a long unfathomable second. Jerked him to his sneakered feet and marched him straight off the porch. “Don’t hurt him!” yelled Liz behind me. I ignored her. Walked him down the twisting driveway toward the road.

“She’s my dark angel, mister! Don’t you see? I gotta have her!”
“Sorry. Looks to me like you cast your vote and lost the damn election.”
“She told me what to do! Real nasty! I like that—”
“Hey! If I wanna hear sick things from sick minds, I’ll go home and watch Naked City.”

I grabbed the front of his polo emblem again, pulled him up to my face. “Meantime…if I ever catch you bothering her again I’ll mash every one of your potatoes and make you eat them. Got it?”

Shoved him onto the road. He slipped and took a tumble. Recovered, stood up again, backed away. “She’ll drive YOU crazy, too…Just wait…She’s got an evil side to her, mister! EVIL!!”

And then he was gone, his words echoing down the hill and through my brain.

* * *

Liz was standing in the living room when I returned. She had donned a robe and lit a cigarette. All I could do was stare at her.

Randy?”
“I told you. He’s nothing.”
“A junior dance?”
“It’s an old country club filled with fuddyduds. Anyone under thirty is considered a junior.”
“So how come you were there?”
She shrugged. “There was a good chance I’d see Humphrey Bogart playing cards.”
“Oh. But instead you got Randy. Creepy, perverted Randy.”
“He’s not a pervert, Snap! Just a little bit…young. Needy. Kind of the way you’re being.”
“Don’t flip-flop this thing, doll. You’re the one who invited me down here to make nookie glue, remember?”

She took what she thought was a hint and moved toward me. Her robe loosened. “I know…and I so liked that nookie glue.”

I squirmed away. Walked into the bedroom to get my overnight bag. Started filling it.

“Where are you going?”
“Where do you think? The airport. Probably no flights until 6 a.m., but heel-cooling’s my specialty.”
“Please, Snap. You’re being a child. Why can’t you just believe me about Randy?”
“I never said I didn’t. But how many other Randys are out there, Liz? How many Mikeys and Biffs I haven’t met yet?”
“That isn’t fair.”
“Yeah, well, neither was not telling me about this dweezil. You knew he might have been outside the other time I was here, right?”

She looked past me and mutely smoked her cigarette.

“All I’m saying, baby, is that when I spring for a tasty dish I just like to know all the ingredients first.”
“Did you forget about our murder case?”
“Nope. Doesn’t change a thing. We can still work together, trade ideas, go snooping. You can win a damn Pulitzer writing about it for all I care. I’ll pay the rent on my old place again if you want, but feel free to come up and visit anytime. Let’s just keep everything the way it was before, okay? Nice and friendly.”

I zipped the bag and walked out the door.

A fat tangerine moon was setting. Not many cabs came up into the hills, but I would walk until I found one. About twenty yards from Liz’s place I nearly turned around. Afraid to see either her tear-stained or evil face at the window, I didn’t.

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 000 413 100 – 9 12 2
STL 100 000 210 – 4 6 1
W-Gomez L-Mabe HR: Mays GWRBI-Rodgers
Heard Russ Hodges’ fine radio call of this one after I got home tonight. Two errors in the 1st help the Cards take a quick lead, before five straight Giants hits off Mabe to start the 4th get us rolling. Gomez escaped some late jams with more squandering by the wheel-spinning home team.

L.A. 102 000 000 – 3 6 1
CHI 100 003 00x – 4 9 1
W-Hobbie L-Drysdale HRS: Roseboro, Long, S. Taylor GWRBI-S. Taylor
Another poor outing by Drysdale, as five of the Cubs’ nine hits go for extra bases. A wild pitch and dropped fly by Fairly come seconds before Taylor’s winning blast.

MIL 010 002 001 – 4 11 2
PHI 001 231 00x – 7 6 0
W-Semproch L-Spahn SV-Farrell HR: Bouchee GWRBI-Semproch
Make it two straight for the Phils over the Braves, despite being badly outhit again, and this time they beat Warren Spah to force a 3-way tie for first with the Cubbies. Amazin’.

CIN 000 010 000 – 1 4 1
PIT 000 101 00x – 2 8 0
W-Friend L-Nuxhall GWRBI-Skinner
Less amazing are the Redleg bats, which take the day off against Bob Friend. Skinner drives in both Buc runs with a sac fly and single.

BAL 000 100 000 – 1 3 0
NYY 000 010 05x – 6 10 0
W-Turley L-Harshman HR: Berra, GWRBI-Skowron
Yet another great Bob Turley outing, and the Yanks win their ninth in a row on a 5-run explosion in the 8th, the winning hit and 3-run Yogi homer coming off Hoyt Wilhelm.

CLE 200 002 000 – 4 6 0
DET 201 001 10x – 5 6 0
W-Foytack L-Grant HRS: Ward, Wertz, Wilson, Kuenn GWRBI-Maxwell
Detroit goes over .500 with this one, while the slumping Tribe drops to a pitiful 1-9 in one-run games.

BOS 030 000 100 01 – 5 11 1
WAS 002 002 000 02 – 6 9 1
W- Romonovsky L-Wall HR: White GWRBI-Lemon
Boston’s dreadful May resumes, as Murray Wall gives up a 5-4 lead with two gone and nobody on base in the last of the 11th. Yost singles, Pearson doubles in the tying run. Sievers is walked intentionally and Lemon singles past Buddin to win it! Maybe the Nasty Nats can keep it going now against…oh. The Yankees.

CHX 004 000 005 – 9 10 2
K.C. 000 100 003 – 4 11 2
W-Pierce L-Grim HRS: Phillips, Cerv
The A’s have reverted to their losing ways, Grim and Held booting balls to allow four unearned Chicago runs in the 3rd. Grim then keeps them at bay, but forced to go the pen in the 9th, Burnette and Craddock fall apart.

National League through Wednesday, May 14

Philadelphia 14 12 .538
Milwaukee 14 12 .538
Chicago 15 13 .536
Pittsburgh 15 14 .517 0.5
San Francisco 14 14 .500 1
Los Angeles 13 15 .464 2
St. Louis 12 14 .462 2
Cincinnati 11 14 .440 2.5

American League through Wednesday, May 14

New York 22 7 .759
Baltimore 18 11 .621 4
Chicago 16 12 .571 5.5
Detroit 15 14 .517 7
Boston 14 16 .467 8.5
Cleveland 14 17 .452 9
Kansas City 10 18 .357 11.5
Washington 8 22 .267 14.5
Advertisements