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Who can ignore it when the pastor calls, my mother's face charged with excitement. I'm in my uniform, getting ready, but thinking I'm straight with the pastor, I recite the Bible passages, do my homework, I know from Lutheranism. My mother, she has something up her sleeve, and so when Pastor Zehring rings the doorbell, I don't know what to expect. They sit me down, there are cookies and coffee, and I know my mother is Serious. So is Pastor Z, who smells of cigarette smoke, and something like a far-off whiff of what my father drinks after a day of doing oil changes and brake jobs. We talk about nothing in particular. He says I'm doing fine in school, which relieves and upsets my eleven-year-old mind, since there's nothing I can put my finger on, nothing like a scab to pick. It comes up half past five, and my mother says, he has a game, and Z says, fine, I'll drive him on my way back, my mother nodding like it's a plan. The man smokes, drives, and I look at my Wilson glove. I'd re-oiled it, all pliable and ready, I was Serious. We pull up to the park, the field dark green, my Giants in blue hats, white pinstripes, the big, bad Sox in black. Pastor Z says, and your mother and I were thinking you should consider the pastorate some day, and I say, I play second base, see, and I'm not bad.

Story by:

Rudy Koshar

25 June 2016