Cormac McCarthy Reports from Surprise

After a few weeks they began to rediscover bones and cast-off apparel of cactus league teams vanquished indiscriminately like predators carving the sick and meek from the herd. They imagined halfburied skeletons of seasons past with the bones so white and polished they seemed incandescent even in that blazing heat and they saw pine tar rags and catchers mitts and the hats of men and they saw Moose entire, his dried and blackened hair hard as iron. They played on. The white noon saw them through the waste like a ghost army, so pale they were with infield dust, like shades of figures erased upon a board. At night the coyotes loped paler yet and grouped and skittered and lifted their lean snouts on the air inhaling wins and grit from deep within the arroyos and ravines carried direct by optimistic desert breeze. The team were fed by hand from sacks of Chipotle and watered from buckets. There was no more losing. The 40 men lay quietly in that cratered void called Surprise and watched the whitehot stars go rifling down the dark like a trolleywire. They slept with their midwestern hearts beating in the sand like feral mules exhausted upon the ever changing never changing trail of losing, clutched to a namelessness wheeling in the night. They moved on and the bus tires grew polished bright as chrome in the punishing sun.

And the answer, said Butler. “If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of the Dayton Moore administration would he not have done so by now? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of Moore there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. He loves games? Let him play for stakes. This roster you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of fanatics, do you not think that this will be again? Aye. And again. With other people, with other sons.”

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