By then the war had been over for three years, and the men were back home. My best friend, Teresa Rossi, was in bed recovering from the epileptic fit that she had had on the day her parents sent her big sister Camille with her swollen belly to family out of state. My second-best friend, Catherine Mullin, tenth polio case of the year, was in the hospital and lying in an iron lung that pushed her in and pulled her out.
Mrs. Levy, wife of the owner of the radio store on Bedford Avenue, pushed the baby carriage around to the south wall of the store and stood sunning her new baby, a boy with a strange large head and strange small slanty eyes. Mr. Levy set up a television set in the store window. At game time every afternoon, a crowd of men and boys gathered outside on the sidewalk. Women with lumpy net shopping bags crossed to the other side of the street. On my way home from school, I found another store window to look at myself in.
My father took the week off from looking for a job, and sat by the radio listening to every game. The afternoons were hot, so he left the windows open. From the moment I turned the corner into our street, I listened for the voice of the radio announcer. On the last day of the series, I was listening so hard that I nearly stepped on a snake that was shedding its skin on our sidewalk. I stood and watched the snake convulse as it sucked its body in, held like that for a moment, then let go and jerked itself forward. After a few more jerks like this, the snake got free of its skin. Then I heard the fans on the radio roar. I heard the announcer say, "That's it."
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