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                                       politics + culture

Saturday, November 26, 2005

a game of whiffle ball that nobody remembers

Rachel walked over with her brother from Claremont Avenue. They met us in Sakura Park. The cherry blossoms were in bloom. It was May, the end of the school year. The night was clear and blue-black. The warmth of lights from apartments on Riverside Drive cut through the dark.

More people arrived as finals let out. Karl and Tom showed up. And Noah. And Kip. I had a bottle of jug wine. Colette and Catherine joined me on the Barnard campus, and then we strolled over. Marc and Sarah and Sara and Katherine and Julie and Jenny and Katie followed soon after. David and Justin and Kiersta walked over after class. Mirja and Bevin and Ilya were late arrivers.

We had enough people for whiffle ball, so we played. Like so many things, we didn't do it with a plan. It just happened. Wild strikeouts in the dark. Karl hurling himself towards first base. Laughter. Impromptu performance. Exaggerated pitching. Close plays at home plate. The thwak of plastic on...plastic.

Some people sat and talked. Others focused on the game at hand. Night fell on the Hudson and New York City.

I dream about those days. Not in a happy way. I wake from a deep sleep, troubled, with a nagging feeling that something is not done. Unaccomplished. Maybe that’s true. Or maybe that’s just how I’m made. My mom tells me that I woke up screaming one night at two years old..."There’s pictures in my crib! There’s pictures in my crib!" Vivid dreams are like memories: they pull you in, they shape your day, they have a force and pull, like tides:

Karl hurtling through the night. Rachel and Julie laughing. David and Noah running for fly balls. Justin rolling a cigarette.

There are things that you do and there are things that you lose. Quite often the mechanisms that drive both machines are in operation simultaneously. Doing meaning losing. Losing meaning doing something new. And memory, that stubborn assemblage of neurons...conspiring to fuck you up, to mix you up...to shake you loose from yourself and push you into a state of confusion, of fugue, of dissonance before you stand and begin again.

The night was dark. Grant’s Tomb was lit against the night. Riverside Church rose up imperious. Towers as play actors looking down upon a game.

I love those friends. But perhaps I love them as a way to love myself. To stick up for something. Imperfect. The kernel of which has yet to work its way to the fore.

Karl hurling himself into the night. The ball in play. So many things hanging in the balance.

A game of whiffle ball that nobody remembers.

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2 Comments:

  • I've visited today for the first time, at your suggestion in your health insurance on dailykos. I'm glad that I did. Keep up the good work. I'll be back, often.

    By Anonymous timerigger, at 3:05 PM  

  • I too drifted over from Dkos & will be back. I like your writing style!

    By Blogger RiaD, at 8:00 AM  



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