Pastoral Genocide

Mister September.
June 11, 2008, 5:19 am
Filed under: Writing | Tags: , ,

Jim Belaine was feeling it. He was swinging the bat miraculously, his fielding was phenomenal, his confidence was fully and rigidly aroused. He felt like someone else, someone tagged for greatness.

Sure, this was Low A ball. And, sure, a big crowd was four thousand people. But Jim Belaine was riding high. He’d never felt so violently in control when swinging the bat. It felt like a perfect extension of his body, an extra appendage made of crafted wood. On the short, anticipatory walk from the on-deck circle to the batter‘s box, Belaine knew he was going to hit the ball and hit it hard. He could feel it, a tingling sensation rising from his torso into his neck, through his jowls, and into the night sky. His energy was kinetic.

His defensive prowess, too, had been gloriously increased. He saw the field in a new light, a sharply defined grid of cause and effect, risk and reward. Jim Belaine caught balls that Jim Belaine had never before caught. He had stretched and ranged to his left and right with vertical purpose and crisp efficiency. This was the life. Jim Beliane knew he was on the way up.

The good life, however, would prove fleeting to Jim Belaine. He had a career August and then, without reverie, the season ended. As he left the ball park the last time, he hoped that next year would be better. He believed – really and truly – as if he had crossed the line of demarcation between marginality and legitimacy.

On the fifteen hour roadtrip home, however, Jim Belaine fell asleep at the wheel and barreled his rented sedan headlong into a dark ravine just outside of Heyburn, Idaho. There, he would sit paralyzed in the driver’s seat and feel the life drain out of him.


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