Forward of my soon to be released Kindle book, ” Pastime, a baseball story”

The Game

Baseball, like life itself, is an immaculate web of interconnected moments. The game pulses like the coiling and releasing of an enormous hundred movement watch. First there is a slow gathering of attention, a winding made up of myriad repeating actions. The shortstop kicks small pebbles out of the infield skin in front of him. An outfielder whistles, leans over, spits between his feet, straightens up again, and taps his glove. The catcher surveys the present situation, waves his fielders into the correct positions for the next pitch, slides his mask down onto his face, and slowly squats behind the plate, looking and thinking the whole time. The umpire adjusts his chest protector and leans forward. Fans yell out from the safe anonymity of the stands: you’re a bum! Strike him out! The batter stands in, taking loose practice swings, measuring the distance across the strike zone with his bat. And lastly, the pitcher, having gotten the sign, rocks slowly into his motion, gracefully reaches his maximum moment of torque, and then slides forward as he unwinds, firing the ball in at a blinding pace. This spark sets the play ablaze; the spring uncoils violently. The batter swings and hits a hard ground ball past a diving third baseman into left. The batter runs like a man possessed for first and makes a big turn. The second baseman is already covering his bag. The shortstop has run out into left and takes the throw from the left fielder.
The wave of action, having broken on the green and brown of the field, subsides and ebbs back and gathers again. The shortstop jogs in with the ball, eyeing the runner, who nonchalantly drifts back to first, where the first baseman spits and says something no one in the park but he and the runner can hear. It must be funny, because they both laugh. The pitcher gets the ball back, and rubs it up, keeping the man on first in his peripheral vision. Then the whole sequence begins again.
A boy puts his arm around a girl. A mother worries about her children. An old man sits and remembers a favorably revised version of a story that happened so long ago that there’s no else left who might tell the other side of it. The seasons seep inexorably into each other, slowly leaching out the color of the leaves and the light until there’s only a memory of warmth, of cold. And so it goes, on and on.

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