Monday, March 08, 2004

Kickball Mortification

It was the first day of the season; my feet sunk into the boggy field with every step as I walked up to the plate. Between the wind whipping into my face and the sun setting directly before me, all I could see were vague shapes in the field.

The pitcher sent the ball bouncing towards me - off to the right. Ball one. Second pitch, again to the right. Ball two.

He sent a slow roller straight down the center of the plate. I smiled, figured out which part of the field I was going to send it to and planted my left foot. My right foot swung down towards the orange ball.

I imagined bolting to first as the ball rocketed out towards left center. Fielders converged on the ball in vein and I was on third base by the time they could throw it back to the infield. I imagined running home and sliding in, scoring the season's first home run. I imagined actually making contact with the ball.

Which I didn't do.

Off balance with one foot in the air, I nearly landed on my ass. I recovered my balance, everything unhurt but my pride.

Fortunately, my teammates stood behind me - laughing and clapping. Along with the other team. And the umpire (she at least tried to hide the giggles, but it wasn't working too well - her sides shook and her face was turning red with the effort).

I smiled and returned to the plate, and I took the walk. I jogged to first, pumping my fists in the air like Rocky, except that instead of "Gonna Fly Now" playing in my ears, I heard "Hey! Only girls walk!" and "Nice walk sissy!"

And this was from my own team.

It's nice to be loved and supported. At least we won the game.

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