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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An afternoon in #Norwalk 1960's by John von Daler


                The trees fly small amber and ocher flags: it's early fall. I've just eaten a salami sandwich with homemade mayonnaise and kosher dill pickles on freshly baked rye bread, with small taste blasts of caraway seeds going off in my mouth. I'm on my bicycle on the way to a touch football game on a lawn somewhere in #Silvermine. If I look long enough I'll uncover the pick-up game in progress and get a place in the line-up.
                Weekends give me a chance for a fantasy version of fame and glory. The rest of the week I steer clear of rough sports, protecting my violin fingers from getting maimed. But Sundays boys my age play endless games, the outcome of which is hardly important. In the fall it's touch football, work-up baseball in the spring. A kind of unconscious Buddhism guides our minds before we mature enough to fit in somewhere; we just enjoy playing in and for itself. Especially on Sundays unknown and unrevealed talents for athletic heroism sprout quietly on the grass lawns of our town.
                Down close to the edge of the Norwalk end of Silvermine I finally find the game on an Irish green lawn, freshly mowed, still slightly pearly with moisture. Good that I arrive now: one team has six, the other five players. Within seconds I am faking a stop and then sprinting out long and wide for a touchdown. Somebody is keeping score, but nobody listens. We just run, kick, catch, easing ourselves into a fantasy world of fans and cheerleaders and grandstand games, oblivious to the quiet pleasantness of the whole scene, enclosed in a bubble of unthinking concentration.
                One or two of the boys say they have to go home and the group disperses in all directions. I bicycle through the leaves, up the narrow roads through the forest, past all the colonial houses with their doors right out on the road. Turning down our gravel driveway I follow the little stream of fresh, bubbling water lined with tulip trees. Inside our new house I make a peanut butter and honey sandwich, drink a glass of milk and lie on the floor in front of the record player. I put on Ein Heldenleben. At this point in our lives, Richard Strauss and I think alike, except for the obvious fact that he is keeping score of his game.
                I lie on the floor looking out our picture window and see a burgundy leaf swinging back and forth, lazily, on the back of the breeze, gliding steadily downwards on its way back into the soil. 


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