elaine’s nose

All throughout my lifetime I’ve been quite seriously notorious for my having always disliked sports.   I’ve never been any good at anything even the least bit athletic either.    Each year since I was an infant, my father’s relatives have always gotten together in Hilldale, in northeastern Pennsylvania, for a few days around the Fourth of July.     My cousins, many of whom are exceptionally good athletes, usually like to go to a nearby ball diamond in Plains so they can play softball.    I don’t even like to bother to show up for the game but sometimes they even cajole me into playing a little.    Once, about twenty years ago, they got me to play for a while.     Somehow my cousin Elaine, who’s not a good athlete either, though her husband and son are, got nudged into pitching.   She’s around fourteen years older than I.   I got up to the plate while she was pitching.    She threw the ball at me.    I not only hit it.    I even hit it right into her nose.     Of course no one was the least bit happy about my having messed things up so much for her.     As if it weren’t bad enough that I’ve never been the least bit of a good athlete anyway, the first time I managed to get anything done it started such big trouble.   To this day it’s still quite a conversation piece among my relatives.    I’ve always tried to defend my misstep by reminding them that her nose had always been a bit off-kilter up until then anyway and it looks so very much nicer now.







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