I was hit in the face with a basketball

The secret to staying young is feeling young

(I keep telling my old cat this but she insists on remaining blind)

So I’m trying to do the splits

Like I could when I was twelve

But I imagined something snap

I swear I think I felt or heard something pop

I stopped 

I’m fine

(I still can’t do the splits)

.

The secret to staying young is feeling young

So I’m trying to play basketball

Sometimes I sink the frees

Sometimes it bounces off the rim 

Hits me in the head

Sometimes that jerk bf blocks it 

Hits me in the face

I say he shouldn’t block me because I’m his gf 

(he doesn’t listen)

(but feels appropriately bad when I get hit in the face)

.

I once swam in a swimming pool

I touched the bottom of the deep end

The pressure killed my ears

I threw a toddler in the air

“Throw me again!” 

I threw her again

Gleefully, “I’m drowning!”

People glared

“You’re not supposed to say that”

“I’m drowning!” 

I’m an adult

“If you say that one more time we’re leaving” 

.

I’m trying to write without punctuation because that’s how high schoolers do it

Like how a period means you’re dead to me.

.

We were playing basketball in a DC park

Little kids came to watch

They clapped when I scored and booed when the bf did

They asked without asking if they could shoot too 

We gave them our basketballs

They didn’t give them back

Another kid brought a scooter

They started fighting over it

Pushing each other to the ground

Four trying to ride at once

Score! We got our balls back 

.

That’s when I got hit in the face

Playing one-on-one

Practicing new moves

Cross over

Behind the back

Pull to the left and SHOOT — 

The jerk bf blocked my shot

Ball hit my glasses into the bridge of my nose 

“Shit, you’re bleeding”

I thought about crying

But I’m an adult!

But I wanted to cry

Like a switch flipped

The ‘you got hit in the face’ switch

Cheeks burned

Forehead pounded

Glasses slightly smushed

How much blood was there? 

To my right a kid got water sprayed into his eyes

To my left one held the scooter as a girl pushed his face

He held on with an iron grip

And I didn’t cry

We kept playing and I scored. 

-Denise


New publication alert! A story of mine was just published in a fun magazine called Oyster River Pages. It’s a weird one. It goes through time backwards. It’s called Love and Pistils. Check it out here. 


Elephant of the week: Soaking up the sun

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