The Streak

It was the day DiMaggio began his hitting streak on May 15th of ‘41 that it all started. Every night the radio was on and I’d sit with Rat Face Lou on the tenement steps listening to every pitch. Man, it was hot that summer: over ninety every single day for two months; over a hundred some days. The kids used to let off the fire hydrants just to keep cool. And Polak Pauley put a nickel on each soda and sent runners out on the street to sell ‘em to anyone who would pay. Folks slept with their windows open so it was easy to get in. All of ‘em women; strangled while they slept, the newspapers said. After each crack of Joe’s bat, if that ball sailed over the fences, next morning, sure as shit, there’d be another body. Fifteen homers Joltin’ Joe hit during the streak and I can describe every one of ‘em.  I starting showing up at the scenes; outa curiosity and all. Chief Delaney looked like he was ‘bout to drop dead himself, reporters buzzing round him like flies on a sweatin’ hog. They brought ‘em out covered and slipped ‘em into the back of the mortuary van with those camera bulbs popping like fireworks on the 4th. One time the gurney banged against the fender as they were sliding it in and this hand fell out the side, white as snow it was with red painted nails. Kinda cute. But everything good ends sometime, and after Joe went hitless one day in July against Cleveland, I got caught, And so here I am: caged up in Sing Sing, waitin’ on Old Sparky to light me up just like one of Joe’s homers last summer during the streak.