BASEBALL'S TERMINOLOGY contains a subliminal theme of teenage sex. The language recapitulates thrilling contact with human skin, lips, moisture. Lazy summer days and, more especially, hot summer evenings. Seeing how far you can get, how far will she let me go. How far do I want to go, myself? I was thirteen when I got to First Base. The first girl I kissed in a grown-up way, with real intent. I don't remember her name. She was wearing a tight grey sweater, and had silver braces on her teeth, and we met, made-out madly and parted never to meet again one summer afternoon in a public park. It took me another year to steal Second, where Trudi Marie wore the other team's uniform and fielded my embraces. Third Base was manned-or womaned-by Nina Dawn, full-bodied and eager to go much further than her timid playmate. Home Plate waited until I was in college and in love. Glorious Home Runs have followed, but a good base hit still has a lot to be said for it.
August 17, 1994
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