Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black History Month: Let's Play Ball

I call these posts Black History Month because I'm Black, and these stories are my history...
Spring Valley, New York 1983


The sound of the baseball hitting on the wood bat excited me. I hurriedly ran to the makeshift first base, which was actually a record album, with my head down. I wasn't exactly fleet of foot, but I had major hustle. I knew something was wrong before I reached the base. The other kids scattered, running off in many different directions trying to flee the scene. The chants of "no batter, no batter" and "we want a pitcher, not a glass of water" were replaced with deafening silence, and only 8 year old Rashan remained in the courtyard. I soon realized why my cohorts had abandoned me. The shattered glass next to Mrs. Chumskly's apartment let me know that I had broken a window.

I don't really know why we were playing baseball in such a tight enclosed space. The courtyard was a patch of grass in between 2 sets of apartment buildings. I guess since we were small, we didn't think anyone would hit the ball hard enough to reach the apartments, but of course, it had to be me to do it. I couldn't even play baseball that well, but one lucky swing was about to get me in trouble. That's if anybody found out. I took my cue from my homeys, and ran away too, leaving my bat and glove outside. I went home nervous,  but hopeful that I could get away with it.

When my mom got home from work, and asked me about my day, I neglected to mention the broken window. Every time the phone rang, I was nervous that it was Mrs. Chumskly or one of my friend's parents calling to spill the beans. At one point I took the phone off the receiver in the kitchen so it would ring busy. But that didn't last long. I remember having a hard time falling asleep that night, but I made it. When I awoke and realized it was a new day, I thought I had gotten away with it. Boy, was I wrong. Turns out one of the kids snitched to his parents, who later that day snitched to my mom. When my mom came home that day and asked me about it, I said something stupid:

"Oh yeah, I forgot!"

I got in trouble, not for the window, but for the lie. At the time, I thought my mom had to pay for the window, but now as an adult, I realize that maintenance probably fixed it. I don't know how I got held solely responsible. It's not like I pitched the ball to myself. It's not like I was the only one that was playing with a baseball, instead of the tennis ball we usually used. In the future, we still used the courtyard, much to Mrs. Chumskly's dismay, but we played football or kickball. There was no way I was going to play baseball there again.


Jameil said...

little liar! i would've gotten you to if i was your momma!!

Adei von K said...

you didn't lie, you didn't elaborate on your day!!

did you find out who told on you? and did you give them stitches?!

Trish said...

I just knew they were running because of a dog! I remember being told on back in the day, people don't look out and discipline other's kids anymore.

Rashan Jamal said...

@ jameil - I wound up having to do everybody's chores for a few weeks.

@ adei - I don't remember who it was, but I didn't get mad, because they would have gotten in trouble. I was too young to know about the G Code. LOL

@ Trish - I do have a dog story
too. Yeah, parents stuck together in our neighborhood.

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