Some things contain multitudes. So does this:
Close your eyes.
Imagine you are Dustin Ackley.
You turn a double play with a leap; a pony appears between your akimbo legs. An angel shits a white cowboy crown onto your noggin; it smells like angel shit, which smells like how you think Alison Brie might smell. Then, oh wow, there’s a boot on your left foot. It fits as though your bone has just been inserted into flesh for the first time. You are pretty happy; you shout for joy.
You wait for a second boot to appear on your right foot. It doesn’t. A purse of gold coins does not materialize on each of your pony’s flanks. Alison Brie does not crawl down out of your hat, cling to you, her fingers tangled in your chest hair as the bad guys’ insignificant bullets whizz past; you do not sprout the copious chest hair of a whiskey-full sheriff. Neither does a sheriff’s badge come to adorn your chest.
Then there is the dirt of the infield beneath your feet again, and there are your teammates loping past silently en route to the dugout. You must empty yourself of fantasy now; you’re due up to start the next half inning.
You’re due home to feed the dog, then, too, due back at the ballpark bright and early tomorrow morning to watch film, to take a bucketful of groundballs, hit in the cage, a second bucketful, light yoga, the treadmill, batting practice, game, home, dog, again, and on, on. A plane ride, the same, a plane ride again. Maybe there will be pizza somewhere in there, you start to think, but you shake the thought. You must shake the thought that you are Dustin Ackley at all. You are a second baseman, that’s all. You are cargo on this earth. You have shaken bigger thoughts than the thought that you are Dustin Ackley, have shaken the thought of unicorns carrying you to first base and beyond first base, to volcanic basins where you are alone, where all day cowboy hats fall from the sky . . .
But oh Dusty you know this is just how a double play feels, and then the next second it’s done feeling like anything. You turned one double play. What’s next?
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