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The Canna Bed (standard:non fiction, 1869 words)
Author: JamielAdded: Mar 31 2005Views/Reads: 1699/1121Story 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 

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