Growing up, a point of pride to my parents existed in the empty lot next door to our house. It made our half acre into a whole and to us kids, provided a flat open space to play baseball. A gray boulder, about the size of a breadbox, made up home plate. We spent many summer days playing impromptu games, often with only a pitcher, batter and an infielder. I loved pitching and batting but not so much fielding.
The love of baseball carried on into my adult years and morphed into the idea I could play for our bank employee coed team. Despite the pressure to hit and the terror of not being able to outrun a ball to first plate, I discovered a new terror on the field. Being lost in the weeds. Yep. Our brilliant ex-marine captain took one look at me and declared left field. Left field is lonely. It also happened to be choked with thigh-high weeds. Taller people might have overcome and sprinted around like a gazelle leaping away from a pursuing lion. Not me. Those weeds were determined to tie up my feet, take my shoes and pull me down. Fly balls flew by as I landed on my face, spit weed stalks and hoped to disappear in humiliation. The catch-phrase of the game became, “Hit it her way, she can’t get it.”
The only good news of that fateful game being than the captain never put me in the outfield again. He put me in as catcher. A story for another day. Today’s humiliation focuses on those left field weeds and being lost amongst them. Writing has its own weed-choked outfield determined to snare my feet and hold me down. Editing and re-writing. It is lonely. Better writers might be able to skip through and outrun a fanged deadline, but not me. 2017 is dwindling fast and I am still spitting weed stalks and watching time fly over my head. I dream of that long-ago summer outfield, hearing the green leggy stalks snapping as I lift me feet to run, feeling the terror of another ball whizzing by. I ask again that very same question. “What am I doing out here?” The weeds dance in delight in the breeze and I think I hear them laughing. “Hit it her way, she can’t get it.”