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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Milwaukee Pie


Milwaukee Pie
Reds and oranges burst through the crisp Milwaukee night air. My first baseball game has ended—the Brewers beat the Phillies. The father and his son, realizing I was alone, high-fived me as we all smiled. “Did you have a nice first baseball game,” he yells over the roaring and cheering of the crowd. “YES!” I yell back.

The hustle and bustle of people and cars around Miller Park puts me in a daze. In a half an hour, Miller Park will be dead again, only to come alive tomorrow night for the final game against the Phillies. Main Entrance. I stand in front of the main entrance, where the driver of the Steppy’s shuttle bus told us to wait a few hours before when he dropped us off. I have forgotten my Packers sweatshirt; all that I am in is a homemade Brewers shirt (that read “Brewers; GO! GO! GO! FIGHT! Make the Phillies eat dirt) and ripped jeans. It had to be at least fifty degrees outside.

I see a group of men huddled a few feet away from me. “Are you waiting for the Steppy’s shuttle bus,” I ask them as I walk up to them. “Yeah,” their teeth chatter. I wait with them and try to start conversation. I am too shy, though, and stand there waiting. But, then alas, we see a white van with Steppy’s in bright red cursive lettering (that glows in the night sky) pulls up.

“A long, long time ago”, the speakers crack as Don McLean’s voice trickles out; we are tiredly sitting on the comfortable tan leather cushions. A blonde hair girl smiles and starts blurting out, half drunk, “I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.”

The engine revs up and soon the lights of Milwaukee’s night life flashes around us. The half-drunk girl that reminds me of my friend’s sister continues singing now with her friends. They’re getting louder and louder.

“And I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance,” they’re almost screaming and it is infectious because more and more of the half-drunk people in the shuttle began to sing. You can tell this song is a popular favorite among people; the shuttle bus now turns into a karaoke bar.

The shuttle bus makes some turns and we hold onto the seats, but I am still mortified to sing. The blonde leans her head in, almost forgetting the words until Don McLean starts, “But February—“ and the girl screams out the rest of the line “made me shiver” and yells the next line too. This time, however, more and more people are starting to join in. The shuttle bus shakes with the voices; it takes me under and I can’t help to start and sing.

I sing as we make a left on one of the side streets. Signs flash and the bars are alive as well as the streets in front of the bars. Milwaukee is such a busy town, but I suppose any city is. As we all hold onto our seats because the ride is so bumpy, we all scream “BYE, BYE MISS AMERICAN PIE; DROVE MY CHEVY TO THE LEVY, BUT THE LEVY WAS DRY” with the blonde finishing and cheering with a fake beer bottle in hand; she smiles as she wails “This’ll be the day that I die.” We sing the chorus over and over; we’re happy that the Brewers won and just for the spirit of the night.
But, then the shuttle driver turned the station. I suppose he was tired of us badly singing such a classic. Yet, to his surprise we sing along with the lead of the blonde.
“Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world,” and the older folks riding with us start singing along. We are screaming along with Journey by the time the shuttle pulls into Steppy’s.

I step out and with both American Pie and Don’t Stop Believin’ in my head, I sing along with a whiskey seven and write it down for one of the best nights of my life.

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