Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Susan's moment of glory

Once upon a time, in the 1980s, there was a kid named Susan.  She was goofy-looking and a total spaz.  Also, she was tiny for her 10 years:  Grown-ups often mistook her for a first grader.  She stunk at sports and was always picked last, or nearly last, for every team at recess.  

One day at school, Susan's class was playing softball.  Susan and her nerdy pals, banished to far right field, were ignoring the game.  They stood in a circle, gossiping and telling jokes to pass the time.

It was Charlie's turn at bat.  Charlie was an oversized meathead who always hit a home run and then performed an elaborate victory dance.  Time for Susan's team to take one up the ass! 

Susan heard the crack of the bat.  With one eye, she followed the ball as it sailed high across the field, arcing into the sky.  It disappeared into the glare of the sun.

Then Susan saw the ball falling above her.  Paralyzed with fear, she watched it grow larger and larger.  At the last possible moment, she extended a single, bare hand.  (Mitts were in short supply, so only good players received them.)  The ball thudded into her palm. 

For several moments, the class stared in silent disbelief.  Then Susan's team exploded into cheers.  Charlie was out! Susan grinned uncontrollably, clutching the ball like a prize.  Her heart swelled with the pure joy of sports-related social acceptance.   

Ecstatic, Susan hurled the ball toward the pitcher.  It flew high up in the air, like the bird of happiness in her heart.  Then it thudded back to earth, not three feet away from her dorky clogs. 

After that, Susan was still picked last, or nearly last, for team sports.  But she never forgot that glorious moment of triumph.