To Peter, with love
The train started to carry me to Oakland when she fell over me. She was a lady, around 80, and couldn’t stay on her feet when the train broke the inertia. “Are you alright?” I asked. “Yes, I am,” she answered with an embarrassed smile, while sitting in the bank right in front of me with help from her daughter. I said my foreign “hi” to her daughter and, noting the cap green and gold on her daughter’s head, I asked “are you going to the Coliseum?”. The lady, now with a big smile, replied: “…as I used to go with my Peter”.
During the train trip, and between the train station and the stadium, I told them that it was my first time in the Coliseum, that I used to watch games in Brazil, that they were the first people that I knew who supported the A’s and that it was a dream for me. When I stopped to jabber, she told me, resting in the shed to complete a walk that was hard for her, that her daughter was taking her to the stadium for her 87th birthday gift. Her daughter explained: “we used to come here when dad was alive”.
After some other pauses to breathe, we arrived at the gates. In the inspection, my backpack full of things from previous cities that I visited made me fall behind. “We’ll meet inside,” I promised them. When I arrived at my seat, the game was about to start. Tough game. The A’s were winning by one run in the last inning. Then with a single, followed by a home run, the Rangers took the lead. In the bottom of the ninth, I remembered them.
I was looking for the lady and her daughter when the A’s loaded the bases and had two hitters out. I kept thinking how her birthday gift was unfortunate. But when Khris Davis hit the baseball over the fence, scoring a grand slam walk-off home run to decide the game and put the whole stadium in a trance, I understood. It wasn’t just about a baseball game. In that stadium she would remember the nights that she spent with the love that life took away from her. In the seats of the old stadium, in the sadness or in the supreme happiness, her Peter would always be alive.