Friday, May 8, 2015

Nadine, The First Blind Baseball Player

Not only is she the first blind baseball player,
rare as a thylacine yawning cavernously on the early-morning dewy lawns of suburbia,

she is also the first woman. 

She is Justice and the curve-hipped Eve of the Major Leagues.
She can pitch it on in there, HERE IT IS, HIT IT.
Athena had her owl; Nadine has Oscar the white pigeon.

How does she do it? you may ask.
She can hear the baseball cutting through the air.
When the batter beats one foul down the third base line, she can smell the chalk dust come wafting with the afternoon breeze.

As Oscar circles encouragingly above her,
she kicks and flings that pea.
She can smell where each batter is,
his desire to mash her deliveries into some distant stand,
his fear of looking bad,
his inability to handle the inside fastball,
his stink in the heat of day, and of battle.

"Strike one!" 
Nadine loves the feel of the baseball in her hand,
its seams,
its potential to raise her above her dime-store life.

"Strike two!"
She can hear Oscar's wingbeats.
She can hear fat fingers digging into tubs of popcorn in the stands.
She can hear opposing fans shouting editorials,
mostly obscene.
"Strike three!"

Nadine listens for the sound of her first baseman's breathing.
They had a short affair.
His posture when flipping her the ball as she covered the base
reminded everyone of a suitor kneeling, the ball like a ring in his hand.
She had spent hours touching his face.
With his head full of love sonnets, he had slumped and been sent down,
and though he is back, things aren't the same between them.

With her baseball money, Nadine has gotten herself a little house,
with window boxes and a ledge for Oscar.
She can't see the flowers but can feel their delicacy, smell their fragrance,
so unlike a cleat or a mitt.
She is happy there.

In her famous poster, sold at most sporting goods stores,
Nadine wears designer shades and road grays,
killer lipstick and bookoo confidence.
Little girls idolize her.
HERE IT IS, HIT IT. But no one can.

for grapeling's Get Listed challenge. I used "house", "face", and "suburb" (suburbia).



brudberg said...

A great story.. this is how it should be

Opal Onyx said...

I love the ending. :) Very clever.

These are my favorite lines:

"She can't see the flowers but can feel their delicacy"

"Nadine wears designer shades and road grays,
killer lipstick and bookoo confidence."

hedgewitch said...

Always original, Shay, and no one can hit it out of the park like you do, no matter who throws the ball. I love this combination of your own loves and casual, stinging insights, and I won't quote that stanza about the dime store life, because it would make me,also, strike out when the ball comes whizzing by with all the knowledge of limitations and the futility and inability of love sonnets to throw a single man out.

TexWisGirl said...

loved this! you transported us to the diamond with all the smells and sounds. we could see it as well as she could!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Loved the originality of this piece.. its so riveting :D Beautifully penned!

Lots of love

blogoratti said...

Brilliant read, well done!

Gail said...

Oh, if this were wonderful.

humbird said...

Baseball goddess she is....and more, the person who knows her purpose....

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You can tell a killer story like nobody else, my friend. Loved this.

Mama Zen said...

This is so you. Love it!

Cloudia said...

Glad you enjoy going to the ball game. Perhaps some day we'll go together, or watch a game on the TV machine.....

ALOHA from Honolulu,

Hannah said...

Love the Thylacine likening/opening.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I adore it — despite knowing almost nothing about baseball.

Outlawyer said...

Ha! Super clever, super poignant, super baseball--all greats. Thanks. k.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I will be right there, jumping around with the little girls, yelling her name and being proud.

Love this. ;-)

grapeling said...

damn, I love this, Shay. no one carves details like you. and as far as skeeters, t'aint my fault the males of the line don't have the sense to go for the good stuff.

thanks for playing ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your love of the game shines through!

Susie Clevenger said...

A unique twist on baseball.
"She is Justice and the curve-hipped Eve of the Major Leagues.
She can pitch it on in there, HERE IT IS, HIT IT.
Athena had her owl; Nadine has Oscar the white pigeon."
Love this verse. I can see her as taunting the male ego that thinks baseball is only for the boys of summer. Great write!!