Tagger by Lindsay Wolff Logsdon
The train pulls up to Fenway park station, just as the Red Socks hit 2 more runs against Toronto in the 7the. Families and old men pile onboard, and the street vendors follow, hawking various Red Socks paraphernalia. An older wrinkled Mexican named Carlos comes on board, selling red logo shirts for $7.00. He is quite but a salesman. He goes up to one family, but they don't make eye contact. He goes up to one old Irish man with a gin blossom nose who shouts over his pocket radio (playing the game) that he wants a shirt. As he takes the shirt from Carlos, he notices how cheap the shirts are and that the red dye (really kool-aid) has stained Carlos's hands bright red. The old man drones on, shouting about cheap Mexican crap and that Carlos better go back to selling beans. Everyone on the train looks for a minute, but Carlos is wrinkled and defeated and they look away.
So Carlos sits down by Tagger and starts talking to himself is Spanish. He tells his life story, about how he was a great second baseman in high school in Mexico, even recruited to play farm league, but he liked beer and he liked women, and he got a beer gut and his girlfriend got with child. He had to marry her and her family told them to move to Boston. He talks about how his skinny brother, who doesn't even understand baseball, even Mexican baseball, lives in Mexico City and married a Tellamundo commercial actress with the biggest breasts (fake and bouncy) and inherited her father's t-shirt factory. His brother sends him these cheap shirts dyed with kool-aid to sell, and he has to, to support his wife and son and maybe someday buy his son a great baseball mit and take him to see the Red Socks beat Toronto.
Carlos doesn't know that Tagger knows Spanish and understands the story. As the next stop comes up and Carlos leaves with his shirts, Tagger looks at his own hands and notices that they are bright red from his last tag...
So Tagger goes out and paints a picture of Carlos, a younger towering brown Carlos in Mexico, hitting a balled red shirt directly into an orange Mexican sunset.