Author Topic: Bench  (Read 62 times)


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« on: February 08, 2020, 02:47:03 AM »
   I remember sitting on the bench my first year of little league. First I remember going to sign up. How you and I brought our baseball gloves and hoped to be on the same team. How the man who was sitting at the sign up table laughed at our gloves and condescendingly said, Wow, you boys sure are excited.
   But I was too old to be starting fresh, they said. I never knew there was a starting age, but I was too old. For forever and ever. And so my mom dropped me off at the field behind the peanut butter factory and I walked towards all the kids my age who I didnt know. And I felt suddenly different. The blood rushed into my face and I didnt know myself anymore. My heart beat weakly, and when the other kids asked me questions I felt like a brick wall. I had nothing to say at all.
   One of the coaches watched me try to throw the ball to a teammate and how it fell flat at his feet. So we went to the side and he showed me how I should move my arm for the best distance. But every time I tried it just did the same thing; it fell flat at the feet of the boy I was throwing to.
   Then they put me in right field, notorious for being the place where you send your worst player. I sat and played in the grass. Or I stood, nervous that I was being seen screwing around. When the ball came in my direction, I panicked and ducked. I let all of my teammates down, even that kid Luke who used to call out supportively to me. I thought he forgot who I was a few years later when we sort of became friends, but I never asked if he remembered. He was the only one I trusted, and turned out he liked cool bands like Tool and Joy Division, so I had good judgment.
   They put me in right field and during one practice, a kid hit the ball right to me in a line drive. I put my glove down to stop it and it ricocheted right into my eye. I walked around with a very very black eye for weeks. I sat on the bench for most of the game, until I was called up to bat and always struck out.
   It was always quick. Id have my bat, Id think, Now, Im gonna show them what I can do. Then a quick one two three, and Id be back to the bench.
   I quit. But this was still important.


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