SHAGGING FLIES IN BALLARD by Alexandrine Ogundimu

SHAGGING FLIES IN BALLARD by Alexandrine Ogundimu

I resolve to confess my feelings on Saturday. You take me to the batting cage up in Mountlake Terrace but the machines are so awful they eat our tokens and give us nothing back, no high-arching softballs or baseball bullets. I would never say anything because I am meek and unmasculine but you get a refund because you are handsome and friendly and always get what you want and I am jealous—of your confidence and looks and talents and physicality and how much sex you have.

There’s a bucket of baseballs in your trunk so we drive to a park in Ballard and grab the bats and bucket and I’m way out of shape and can’t pitch for shit. You whack more than a few out into the home run range and we shag them together and take turns, pitcher and hitter, the innuendo not lost on me though you are oblivious to it, as I admire your form and feel a certain kind of carefree peace and joy, just two guys hitting baseballs, and it makes me wish you were my boyfriend in a way I find embarrassing, and I will tell you, hyper-straight you, college-baseball-player you, writer you, talented-in-more-than-every-way you. 

This isn’t the right moment to say anything because it’s too perfect, as if I have already gotten exactly what I want, and having had it, there is no reason for me to seek it. 

We catch the Mariners game at a pizza place and you drink a beer while I drink a Diet Coke because I’m scared of what comes out of me while I’m drunk. You ask me how the date with that guy went and I say Fine when it wasn’t fine because he wasn’t you, and I don’t care unless I care and you make me care in spite of myself. 

We lock eyes as you say Yeah, just fine? And your voice is so warm and your eyes are crystal, your Henley revealing just a bit of your chest and I am an animal, my higher functions suspended even as I can feel your thoughts move, and I realize that this is my moment, my time to confess, and as I prepare the words Zunino blasts one and the bar goes wild and we high-five and really is it worth it to complicate a friendship when it’s so much easier to let your heart break. 

Alexandrine Ogundimu is a Nigerian-American, depressed, transgender garbage fire from Indiana. She lives in Seattle and works for a housing nonprofit. She cares a lot about equality and diversity and using our own voices, but mostly is waiting for the day she can loot Tiffany's with a pack of feral drag queens. She received an MFA in Fiction at NYU, and her debut novella Desperate was published by Amphetamine Sulphate in January 2021. Her fiction can be found in Five:2:One, Flapperhouse, Exposition Review, Maudlin House, and elsewhere.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower