Baseball four-play


Northport, Alabama

I have been called tense. Uptight. Driven. I grind my teeth in my sleep, clench my jaws until my head feels like it will split open. I frequently find myself aching from head to toe, no doubt the result of subconsciously coiling my five-foot one inch frame into a tight comma — the outward manifestation of an internal quagmire.

Given that fact, most people are surprised to learn that I am one of the few people in the world who absolutely loathes a massage. I quickly sidestep those annoying people in the mall who try to entice you to sit in their “magic chairs” for five minutes of free bliss. Ditto for the well-meaning friend/co-worker/family member who always thinks they know just what I and my knotted up body needs. In truth, I flinch at the touch, a learned response to previous attempts that have sent pain shooting through my tangled muscles and screaming across my raw nerves. I joke sometimes that if I am relaxed I am probably unconscious, but it’s not really funny. It’s too close to the truth.

But today, as I was sitting out in the grass, listening to my iPod and waiting for the first baseball game to start, I stretched out, reveled in the sun warming my bones, teasing my muscles into liquid submission. Cautiously, I linked my hands into the chain link fence in front of me, tilted my head back and closed my eyes. Deep breath. Another. Another. For those few minutes, there was no past to regret, no future to fear. There was only the present, and I had the oddest feeling that I might be dangerously close to happiness.

Change one thing — change everything. Is it really that simple?

Music of the day: Won’t Back Down by Fuel (lyrics)

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