Wednesday, September 30, 2009

an incredibly busy time, preparing for peru, but all my kids in crisis, one crisis or another, and fall coming down like a clear blue page in a new chapter. all i can think of is baseball, and that's partly because october was always the big baseball month, but also, because baseball itself is the ultimate escape, when virtually everthing else seems like too much. too much grading, too much grammar, too much stress, too much reading skills workshop preparation, too much lack of swimming pool. in the morning i take the seven-yr-old out front where he catches the bus; red berries fall from ornamental trees in the yard, and fall shines all over. baseball, i'm thinking: wonder if the twins beat the tigers. or if there are any other games that matter.

first thing i used to do when i was a paperboy, 5 30 in the morning, was open up the first paper, and thumb backward 'til i found the sports section, and thumb backward some more 'til i found the indians' box score. the smell of newspaper ink would rise up out of the fresh papers stuck to my fingers but the ink would easily come off in the dew beside the sidewalk. whether the indians won, lost, or got rained out had almost no bearing on the day itself, as i was barely awake anyway, but the trained ability to focus would help me concentrate later on. sometimes my brother would win free baseball tickets or i'd get them through the paper route- but then, we'd see the pirates, as this was in pittsburgh- and sometimes, of course, the dogs would come through. or the giants- saw a lot of willie mays, mccovey, marichal. or even the cards.

thus a life of being in one outfield bleacher, and looking across the field at where the scoreboard was slowly being updated, by some guy who hid behind the green number signs after he turned them around. i'd look for the indians game. if the pirates were in a race the fans would check to see how the cubs or the dogs or whoever was doing- what else was happening in the league? but i would check only the indians, or mostly the indians. clemente, stargell, mazeroski, alou, bonds, these were names i remember from that era, pirates who were always circling the bases based on some hit to deep right field. but they had no pitching- the other teams were usually doing considerable base-circling also. when the game was over we'd take the trolley home and i'd read the box score the following day and compare it to what i remembered or what i'd seen...before that, i'd gone to tiger stadium, several times, and memorial stadium, cleveland, once- got lost both places, in detroit, more than once. i was too easily distracted, and the stadiums were too big. on some level i was collecting stories, images, names, places, which i could now use, needing a lot of distraction, being so busy, and so frazzled emotionally, that the best i can conjure, mornings, or even now, is some baseball story.

but, a person could do is, after all, october. more later.


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