Adolescent Aspirations

By
The dry golden grass crackles underfoot like the fallen leaves of a distant autumn. It is here I come to play. Clutching a small plastic baseball bat in my tiny, sweating palms, I squint stoically up at the sun. Was that right? No, it is no longer a sun. Is it a gigantic spotlight, which illuminates the field before me. The backyard has gone: it is an immaculate baseball diamond. I stand, my feet callused and bare, on the complaining wooden boards of my back porch. Looking down, my feet are clad in dusty spikes, encrusted with the grime of a thousand hard-fought games. The porch beneath my feet crumbles away, replaced by a dugout, its floor littered with sunflower seeds. I peer outside and see thousands upon thousands of screaming fans standing on hard metal bleachers that extend into oblivion. Bat in hand, I ascend the dugout steps and hear the thunderous approval from the crowd, urging me on. I walk confidently to the plate, a faint smile playing about my lips. I am ready.
“Bottom of the ninth,” the announcer drones softly, “Bases loaded. Two outs. Home team down three runs.”
The crowd falls abruptly silent, but their anxiety still hangs, pregnant, in the air. I ignore their expectations, their hopes. They are distractions, no more. I only have eyes for the pitcher standing on the mound before me. He narrows his eyes and flares his nostrils, but I alone can see the fear in his eyes.
Winding up, he throws the ball and it streaks toward me.
I swing.
The bat makes contact with the whistling sphere and it instantly vanishes from sight. I feel the impact cursing through my body. Euphoria saturates my every pore. The announcer is screaming wordlessly now.
The ball seems to soar forever.





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bballchic said...
Sept. 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm
I loved the way you told this story. Great descriptions!
 
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