Thursday, May 23, 2019

The old ball game.

It's been a long couple of weeks.

To quote the early 20th Century poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay,

My candle burns at both ends; 
It will not last the night; 
But, ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-- 
It gives a lovely light!
That's a round-about way of saying I've been going full-tilt. I've been writing scripts just about as fast as I can type. In fact, I don't even like to think of how many in how few minutes. It will only make me despondent.

After a while, after the griping and the bitching and the why-did-I-not-go-into-dentistry like my Aunt Sylvie advised me to, after all that, and the exhaustion, there's something else.

It reminds me somehow, of being in a close ballgame and hitting a line-drive off their best arm into the gap. It's a clean double, to be sure, but as you're chugging into second, you see the third base coach waving you on like you're a run-away train.

Your legs are tired. You've played seven games in five nights, and maybe you had too many cervezas the night before. Maybe you slept in a cramped hotel room on the road with a valley down the middle of the mattress, and Freddy Fender playing too loud on the radio in the next room. Maybe it took you nine hours to sleep five. 

But regardless, you have a job to do. So you're at the ballgame, tired like a Bracero but somehow, muscle memory maybe, you've hit one between their leftfielder and their centerfielder. Now you're running full-out like a linebacker after a fumble. You're pulling into second--a stand-up two-bagger is good enough for you, but you're being waved on by a third base coach flapping wings his like a coked-up toreador, so you put your head down and run, sliding into third and you hear el arbitro--the umpire yell "quieto," safe!

And there you are standing atop the bag. Your old flannel uniform sweat-stained, dirty and torn. Tired as an old oak. Breathing through your mouth and gulping for air through the humidity. Tired enough to die.

But you hit a triple.

And it feels good. 

Work is like that sometimes.

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