I hear, “Hey batter, batter...” 

We’re wearing yellow, my team, the Dukes. I have gray sweatpants and Payless cleats on. Our hats have a D, are mesh and mine sits high on my head. It's snapped back to the second to last position. My tee shirt, our jersey, is too big. My dad is our manager. And he has no idea what he is doing. He has never coached anything before. He wrote our line-up on a prayer concerns card at church on Sunday. His way of asking God for help. He has given everyone on our team nicknames. He wants to play me but doesn’t want to favor me. I don’t envy him. I was there at the batting cage, and will be there all those times in the garage, hitting the bottle caps he’s collected with a broom stick. Something he thinks will improve my eye-hand. I will feel his frustration. 

Compared to us, our opponents for game one, the purple team, are the Yankees of the Little League Minors. They look professional. Instead of ill-fitting sweats they're wearing polyester baseball pants, pulled up with matching purple stirrups. The Yankees wear name brand cleats and broken-in gloves. They have batting gloves and special bags for their bats. Whereas, the bat my dad bought me at Oshmans up the street fits into the opening of the hand-me down glove and I better not lose either one of them. We haven't gotten to batting gloves yet.

“Hey batter, batter, batter...”

Is this what they call chatter? I’m up now with two outs. And, I'm all up in my head. Part of me is not in the game; part would rather not be up; part wishes I was on base; part is scared of the ball; part wants to hit it; part wants to take, knowing I’d probably miss anyway; part would rather play soccer; part thinks I’d suck at soccer; part is uncomfortable in this jock; part is ready; part never will be; part doesn’t want to let the team down; part doesn’t give a shit; part knows this is it. And here’s the pitch … "Sa-wing batter."


Tell me a story.
Make it a good one.

Go way back when.
From your childhood.

Tell me a story.
Make it hard to recall.

Try to remember names
—who was
with you—
and what
you were

Tell me a story.
Make it hurt a