A shirtless Van Man sat on the floor of the sweltering house. He was alone in a house full of Stuff. Items from some life that was not lived anymore. Relics of a past which no other person had a care for. Stuff. Things that remained because their owner was dead. Items that the owner's children did not want. Van Man had been there to sell the Stuff. He was there watching over the Things to make sure no person came to steal any of the Items.
The Center Fielder sacrificed the Runner over to second base. Mr. November was up. The stadium was electric and thousands of light bulbs flashed. The Splendid Splinter made a deal with The Devil and it was time for Old Scratch to collect.
Van Man had watched him play for twenty years and now it was over. Twenty years. Two decades. Three years before Van Man had lost his virginity. In those two-hundred and forty months, Mr. November was a constant. Always the same. Something to count on. He was there every Summer and nearly every Fall. He was finished with one chapter and ready to start the next. Van Man seemed scattered every day during those twenty years. He looked back at himself and did not like what he saw. Inconsistency. He felt he had only just begun his chapter after all that time. And the Stuff sat in the sweltering house.
Van Man looked around at the Items. They were once new and now were not. They seemed aged, scuffed, alone. The years had gone by and the Things had seen change, but had stayed the same. Much like Mr. November. One day, different people would come to buy the Stuff. To make their lives seem fulfilled. The Stuff would become happy again. The Things would begin a second chapter. The Van Man knew one thing for certain and that was he was not for sale.
Mr. November crouched into his signature stance, toggling the bat as he got set. The Pitcher liked the sign and checked the Runner on second. The bat wiggled. The pitch came in at eighty-six miles per hour and Mr. November laced a single into right field. The crowd roared and babies were born. The throw home was not close and Mr. November had won the game. He had given a generation one last moment to keep with their past.
Van Man sat in the sweltering house. Alone on the floor. Surrounded by Things that scuffed but did not change. Mr. November walked the field and said goodbye to the fans. Alone on the field. Surrounded by a stadium full of people who unknowingly changed while they watched him play for two decades. The Van Man knew he was close to the answer, but he could not see it. The heat broke in the house and Mr. November walked away from the adoring crowd and into the locker room. The end is the beginning.