Monday, 17 February 2014

Free Writing - the player

Imagine a ball, floating in mid air. The ball is red, and it shines with the sheen of rubber and has a small but noticeable seam or casting mark running across the circumference. It’s floating in mid-air because time is paused. A baseball bat floats alongside it, gripped in the hands of a world renowned player I sadly don’t know because (A) I’m not American and (B) I don’t care.

So it’s a stock baseball player. Looks to have some sort of South American heritage from his dark skin and curled hair, the look of concentration on his face briefly eliciting almost of sneer. His eye is on the ball but this reveals something; it’s not a baseball. From this we can deduce that it’s not a league game, and it’s not a practice because they’d want the right ball for the weight, otherwise it’d be pointless.

Back to the ball. It’s red and cheap, so why is it heading towards him? I have all these ideas - he’s in the park and a dog owner threw it at him, but then why would he have the bat? I was also going to say that he was attacked and someone threw the ball as a distraction, relying on his finely-tuned reflexes to automatically swing at the ball while they stab his side, but the problem with that is that they would have had to to attack a baseball player with a baseball bat. Irony? Misdirection to make it look like a disgruntled team-mate?

I get it now. He’s at a friends house and their son recognises him. He’s pretty famous after all, even if I don’t know who he is. The kid throws a ball at him - not a proper one, and not at the right height. The player will miss, clipping the ball and sending it skittering off into next door’s pool. The player will want to slam the bat down and say it’s not a regulation ball, the pitcher was too close, the bat he signed for the kid is not the size he’s used to, any of the excuses the blood rushing to his neck is jamming into his forebrain.

Instead, he’ll smile, shrug in embarrassment, and tell the kid he got him, he’s better than the pros. And the kid will smile at the lie as kids do, and cling to that memory every time he fails, or things don’t work out right.

Any time life tries to beat the childhood out of him he’ll stand proud and remember the day he beat the pros.