|The Canna Bed (standard:non fiction, 1869 words)|
|Author: Jamiel||Added: Mar 31 2005||Views/Reads: 1664/1099||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An antique memory of my first and unfortunately not my only brush with the game of baseball as a participant. Fortunately there were not that many more brushes, nor other sports. I became reconciled, if not, content with being a dork.|
Copyright Jamiel 2005 Word Count 1,865 THE CANNA BED By: Jamiel The flour-coated chunks of meat were sizzling nicely on the hot floor of the deep stew pot. At age fifteen I still had to tiptoe to see down into the pot positioning my nose far too close to the heat emanating from within to catch the aroma hovering just above it. Using a long meat fork, I speared the first chunk and removed it from the cook-pot for inspection. Ah-h-h. The braising was going well on the first side... time to turn them. The turning was complete and the lid was in place again. I was adjusting the flame under the pot when the phone rang. It was for my sister, Annie, who was out of pocket. I stepped through the back door and into the carport looking for her. Annie was more street-wise than I, though younger by several years. And that's where I located her, in the street in front of our house tossing a baseball back and forth with the new neighbor. I was immediately intrigued, the neighbors were a mysterious lot. Although they had lived there over six weeks, I had never seen the parents, just their car parked in the driveway at night. I shouted to Annie that there was a telephone call for her. She stopped the play and started for the house. Kerry Wilson, the neighbor, called to me to take Annie's place in the game of pitch. Kerry was 'older', about nineteen. For her to express an interest in me as a fitting substitute was an honor. Any older person ready and willing to give attention to members of our group was looked upon with awe. There were six children in our family and our parents worked extremely long hours away from home to provide for us. Hence, there was very little of their attention to spare. Though intrigued, I declined, mentioning the stew I was cooking as needing my attention. "I'll be right back. It won't take long. Just take my place for a few minutes", Annie said as she moved past me on her way to the phone assuring me that she would not be long. She didn't have to twist my arm. It would give me a chance to learn something more about the family next door. This nineteen-year-old girl who stayed home to watch her three-year-old sister with the six toes on each foot fascinated me. She was boyishly slender and wore her hair cut short and slicked back in a popular style of the guys. She also wore non-traditional western shirts, wide belts and button front Levi's, unusual for females in the middle fifties. I missed the first three pitches and seethed with angry embarrassment while I chased the ball down the street. Since I couldn't throw a ball very well or very far, if truth be told, I began to feel that this exercise had been a mistake and was quite ready to call it off. Then, by accident, I made my first catch. Kerry had a peculiar side hand pitch that was extremely accurate. When I had learned to hold the glove correctly it was easy enough for her to all but place the ball in the center of it, however, it was placed with a great deal of force. Even through the padding of the glove, my hand stung and burned with the thudding impact of the ball as it chunked into the pocket. I prayed fervently for Annie's quick return so that I could make a graceful exit. My hand soon became numb with the constant impact and as the numbness disguised the pain, it became tolerable and I felt almost triumphant in overcoming the difficulty and fear of failing. I might even have learned to enjoy it except... "Your house is on fire. There's smoke coming out of your house." "Oh my god.... The stew..." Forgotten was the pleasure of blossoming athletic prowess. Forgotten was the intriguing family next door and the chance to know Kerry and her sister better. Forgotten was everything except the fear of what I would find as I ran into the house. I could think of nothing except the trouble I was in, what my mother would do when she found out. What would Daddy do? How I traveled the distance from the street to the house I simply cannot recall. Somehow I had arrived in the kitchen and found smoke billowing from the pot on the stove obliterating everything above the knee inside Click here to read the rest of this story (107 more lines)
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