The wind is a crowd erupting, screaming praise for the home team. Tattered leaves and broken sticks, debris from a long season, fly haphazard across the road on our drive home.

Bases loaded. One out. Top of the twelfth.

A clump of wet leaves hits my windshield. The wipers push them off to left, while another clump sneaks in on the right.

“The Tigers lose a crusher in twelve,” the summer narrators say. “A disappointing end to the season. Very disappointing.”

I turn off the radio and watch the collage of tree wreckage in my headlights.  Like cockroaches in a flashlight beam, I’m happy to crush them.

“I can’t believe they lost,” you say.

“I know.” My shoulders shrug involuntarily. “I can’t believe it’s over.”

I hear the pop of a new fallen walnut under my tire as I pull in the driveway. A bloop single to right makes as much noise, but causes far greater consequences. I see the catcher, pulled off the plate, and Twins dancing around him.

The house is cold. The wind seeps its fingers through the cracks and flicks at my neck. An army of ghosts bang at the windows. October voices are malicious tonight.

We head to bed, dejected, not ready to talk about next year.

The wind is a crowd erupting, and it blows from Minnesota.

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