I Was Wrong, You Were Right
I saw a bright red ball bouncing down the street towards me. It wasn't the kind of ball that looked wayward or off center in it's purpose. It was obvious that this ball was coming to me; from something; for me. I bent down to receive it in cupped hands the way a vagabond would drink out of a puddle. The ball stopped. It stopped 3 feet in front of me. It was too far for a hop. It was too far for a reach. It was too far for a grab. And so the ball stared at me and I stared back.
What do you want ball?
Ok? Who sent you?
I'm talking to a ball.
Jesus I'm talking to myself.
I turned around and started walking. I heard a little voice that came from far away. It was a distant yell that sounded, from where I was standing, like a muffled cry.
"Pick it up!"
I turned again and saw that the ball had traveled the 3 steps I had walked in order to stay 3 feet from me. I leaned down and duck waddled to the ball. It did not roll back. It looked like a flaming cherry. It seemed like a scolding piece of charcoal that had no intention of being received by me. It looked independent. It looked free. I felt as though it were a wounded dog that didn't trust me to pet it but was hungry and thought I might have bacon in my pocket.
I got over top the ball and looked down. The sun reflected off the northeast corner as though someone had painted the glare on. I heard the distant yell again. This time it was closer but still seemingly muffled and cautious.
"Pick it up!"
I leaned forward and picked up the ball. I tossed it to myself as I stood up from my squat. I saw that there was something written on the side I had not seen. It was in tiny little black verdana letters on the bottom. I shielded my eyes from the sun and held the ball forehead high in front of me: "Do not run". I pursed my lips together and furrowed my brow, shrugged my shoulders and turned.
I walked home bouncing the ball and looking in car mirrors to see what was behind me.