Kowalski really wishes he hadn’t mixed the two IPA’s at the conference: International Police Association and India Pale Ale -- like Fraser’s tongue and electricity -- were not a good mix. Didn’t mean to get that boozed up, but the boredom of the cocktail reception small talk got to him and then it was in beer veritas. He said some things that he honestly meant, and it seemed like fun at the time, but it was honestly a mistake that he said them in what Fraser called “polite company”. And now Fraser seems to have set the clock back on their relationship, back to when they were partners but not partners.
That was October 21st – now it’s November 2nd and Ray continues wondering how to get back to the best thing to have happened to him since the early Stella years. November 2nd, 2016 and he’s at a bar with a crowd of celebrating Cubs fans -- celebrating the blind faith of die-hard Cubs fans, celebrating the team’s new beginnings.
Ray could be blind sometimes (and being near-blind without his glasses was the least of it): he’d had blind faith that a Polish kid from the wrong side of the tracks was meant to win that Gold Coast girl (he’d won her in faith and lost her in blindness) and he’d had blind faith in the Cubbies. And then there’s his faith in Fraser…limitless as the night sky he sees when he steps outside the bar, and with dark depths and star-brightness like the night sky too. (Hey -- poet on the inside -- he can get lyrical when the mood strikes.)
So, the Cubs won the World Series tonight, and the next best thing to that would just be winning again, another miracle win, another new beginning. And the next best thing to winning that Mountie would just be winning again, another miracle win, another new beginning.
Ray heads for home and Fraser, amidst the “W” flags waving for the World Series win. He’s heading for home like it’s his Willison Hawkeyes home run, thinking of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s 2016 spring training advice to the soon-to-be winners: “Try not to suck. Embrace the target.”