FEEL ALIVE – short story
Seen through a sweltering haze of dust, the pitcher winds up and delivers a scalding fastball.
The painful slap of the ball into my mitt tells me that the batter missed this one.
The ump yells “STRIKE” and I toss the ball back to the determined pitcher.
The next pitch will be the challenge. No batter wants to go 0 and 2.
The batter steps out and takes a couple of practice swings. Apparently believing he will hit it out of here.
The Ump steps forward, produces a brush from nowhere and brushes the powdery dust off the plate and into the air. I breathe it in and it coats my tongue before settling back onto the plate.
My attention is focused on the 60 1/2 feet from the mound to the plate and the ball that is about to travel that very path.
Hot sweat mixed with dust drips down under my mask. The ball is delivered and the Louisville Slugger almost explodes with the contact.
The ball is away.
Now it really begins…
This is what my youth was about. The taste of victory or defeat on the field of play.
This is what I needed in order to feel alive.