Monday, June 25, 2007

"Poor Ball Handling Skills"

I was reading through my information packet for my brave summer poetry vacation in July at the community of writers at Squaw Valley, and came across this phrase:

Wednesday we will go to Lake Tahoe for an afternoon picnic and softball game.

Picnic? Yes. Softball game? Fuck no. I can only hope that there are other poets that like ball-handling because I'm not playing. I'm not even going near a field.

Let me briefly explain. I have several talents, but none of them involves balls of any sort. In fact, this was noted each year in elementary school on my report card with this box checked, "Poor Ball Handling Skills."

I can't catch, I can't throw, and I'm not interested in learning. It's not a class thing, it's not a race thing, it's the fact that every time I'm around a ball, it seems forcibly drawn to my body. In fact, I've been hit on the head by a softball, spiked in the eye socket by a volleyball, and smacked in the chest with a basketball so hard I fell over. I don't like balls. I'm not even going to comment on bowling.

But one of the reasons I don't go to Wesleyan alum events in Los Angeles is because they often involved balls of the softball variety. As if I went to Wesleyan in order to play on an intramural softball team against Amherst or Williams after graduation. Woohoo! A Little Three tournament!

I probably have some stereotypes about poets, but for some reason softball at Squaw is totally unexpected. The horror! The horror!