Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Theater Nerd Plays Softball

I have joined my office softball team. Feel free to express your surprise and disbelief--all my friends are reacting that way when I tell them how I'm spending my Thursday nights. "I'm sorry--I just never thought of you as being on a sports team--"

"Yeah, I know, it is pretty hilarious, right? The last time I played softball was when I was 8 years old. I got Most Improved Player. Maybe that counts for something," I say.

We had our first game tonight. When I arrived at the baseball diamond, our coach announced that I would be playing right field.

I nodded eagerly, though I must have had some expression of confusion or doubt on my face, because Coach added, "Don't worry, that's good. Because when they hit it, it usually goes to the left, doesn't it?"

"You mean it's not like stage right and stage left?" I blurted.

Theater nerd that I am, I thought that the baseball diamond's left field and right field are determined from the fielder's perspective, the way that stage right and stage left are determined from the actor's perspective! But no. Of course not. (Now I'm getting an inkling of why people who are new to the theater find stage directions so confusing!)

Much to our surprise--and with no help from me--we won the game, 9 to 5. (When I got up to bat, I consistently hit foul balls.) But I had a good time, I felt like part of a team, and I was never bored, the way I got bored dawdling in the outfield as an 8-year-old. Most importantly, it reminded me of how lucky I am to live in San Francisco. I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary of moving here, and the city has not lost its power to amaze me. We play in the Presidio, so when I'm standing in the outfield, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge loom almost directly in front of me, and to my right, a full moon rises above the downtown San Francisco skyline. I can see the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, the distant glittering chain of the Bay Bridge, and shreds of fog passing across the surface of the moon.

I know it's wrong to take my eye off the ball, but I couldn't stop looking around and marvelling at the view. I had fun tonight, but when it comes to round white objects that soar through the sky, I still prefer the moon to a baseball, any time.

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