Episode 38: The baseball game
Our town went euphoric when they found out that our team had moved up in the leagues and was now playing against Guadalajara. “Next week we face a giant,” they were saying dramatizing the game with pride. Any way, they were right. We were just an ant compared to Guadalajara—the nation’s second largest city.
Not even the priest minced his words at Sunday’s mass. Instead, he took the opportunity to connect the game to a time in the Holy Bible. From the height of his pulpit he looked down at the room-packed congregation and said in his usual soft, monotone, “Let us not forget what the Holy Bible tells us about David and Goliath….
The pitcher’s foot came down fast with a puff of dust rising from the ground. His body thrust forward with great force pivoting on his heel as the other foot went up behind him. He flung his pitching arm with all the might and power his muscles could muster.
Suddenly, I saw the pitcher through a tunnel turning toward me. The ball left his hand. Although it was racing at 90 mph, it seemed to be in slow motion. The people in front of me parted like the Red Sea, leaving an 11-year-old boy alone against a cannon ball in his direction.
Indecision flooded my mind. Which way? If I duck the ball will knock out my teeth. Stay put and the ball will hit my body. I froze.
The ball hit the pit of my stomach and part of the liver with grotesque impact. My body paralyzed. An acute, excruciating pain radiated from the abdomen. My lungs shot down. I couldn’t breathe. My knees buckled beneath me. I was slowly falling. Everything around was vanishing. I was falling into a world of darkness and silence…..
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