"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lines I Wished I’d Written: From “The Pitcher” By Andre Dubus

Baseball season started today, the greatest sport known to mankind.  To commemorate I read a story by Andre Dubus titled, “The Pitcher.”  For your reading pleasure here is a passage I particularly liked.  The story is about a young pitcher who’s wife leaves him.

He spoke to no one.  He went to the far end of the dugout that they left empty for him when he was pitching.  He was too young to ask for that, but he was good enough to get it without asking; they gave it to him early in the year, when they saw he needed it, this young pitcher Billy Wells who talked and joked and yelled at the field and the other dugout for nine innings of the three nights he didn’t pitch, but on his pitching night sat quietly, looking neither relaxed nor tense, and only spoke when politeness required it.  Always he was polite.  Soon they made a space for him on the bench, where he sat now knowing he would be alright.  He did not think about it, for he knew as the insomniac does that to give it words summons it up to dance; he knew that the pain he had brought with him to the park was still there; he even knew it would probably always still be there; but for a good while now it was gone.  It would lie in wait for him and strike him again when he was drained and he had a heart full of room for it.  But that was a long time now, and in the shower or back in the hotel, longer than the two and a half hours or whatever he would use pitching the game; longer than a clock could measure.  Right now it seemed a great deal of his life would pass before the shower.  When he trotted out to the mound they stood and cheered and, before he threw his first warm-up pitch, he tipped his cap.

 -From “The Pitcher” by Andre Dubus. 

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