Monday, May 10, 2010

Basketball diaries

Yesterday I went out to get pizza for dinner, and realized halfway there that I had forgotten both my wallet and my debit card.

Seeing as how we live about a thousand miles away from everything, having to turn around and go back home was slightly irritating.

And Steph will attest that when I get irritated, other drivers and distractions on the road are that much more vexing to me.

So, when I got near home, and was blocked by a group of children playing basketball in the road*, I was not exactly focusing on much other than my mounting rage.

*Seriously. These kids have an outdoor basketball hoop that they have set up right on the corner of our main road. One of these days someone is going to come around that corner a little too fast and there is going to be a pretty ugly situation as a result.

Anyway. I began driving past the kids, when I heard something "pop" in the direction of the right rear tire, as though I had run over a bottle or a child. I semi-slowed down, and glancing back in the mirror, could see the children sorta staring at me. I thought that they were probably worried that I was going to stop the car and get out and yell at them. Instead, I continued down the street until I got to our driveway. I got out of the van and looked the van over - no visible damage. Good.

I began walking into the house, when one of the kids yelled something to me. I stopped and faced him and he must have known that I hadn't heard him originally because he reyelled it: "You just flattened our basketball!"

It took my brain a second to comprehend, and perhaps he saw that moment of confusion on my face because he added, "With your tire! You ran over our ball!"

I (finally) put two and two together and said simply, "Sorry!" (although, really, I wasn't. And I'm certain that my voice conveyed that.) I then turned and went into the house to get my wallet.

As I recapped the events for Steph, between curses, she (or maybe one of the girls) said, "There's a basketball in the neighbor's garbage."

I was all, "What in the who now?"

And so I learned that our neighbor across the street, who had put out her garbage to the curb early, had thrown away a perfectly good basketball.

Well, I don't always understand the messages that the universe gives me, but that one was so clear that even I couldn't misread it.

Me, Saren, and Irina all walked out, grabbed the basketball from the trash (really, there was nothing wrong with it, why was it being thrown out?), and walked down the street to where the children were still congregated (they had obtained another ball, and were playing with that one). I gave them the ball to replace the one that I had run over, and, feeling that the karmic scales were balanced, we began to walk home.

...And then we found another basketball, lodged underneath one of the cars parked on the side of the street.

Irina was very excited about that, so she picked it up and asked if we could keep it. I was assuming that it had also been thrown away, and had rolled out of the garbage collection (that particular neighbor's trash was just up the street, so it is plausible that it came from there.) So, I said, "Sure."

And with that, we got ourselves a free basketball.

As we returned to the house, we all pondered over the events, and what, exactly, it meant. We had done a good deed, after having wronged some people, and were instantly rewarded, but then, the ball we took could very well have been the one that I had hit with the car to begin with. And not only that, but the kids REALLY shouldn't have been out in the road where their toys (and bodies) could easily be damaged by passing vehicles. And none of the events would have gone down if I had just remembered my wallet when I first left.

And that's when I realized that there was no moral to this story, it was just a bunch of things that happened.


Amy said...

Man, I could tell you some stories about kids who play in the street when I'm driving and angry. And about how they and their parents act like they live at the end of a cul-de-sac or something when they don't: people actually have to drive through here to get to their houses, okay? And! The mother of some of these children always drives through really fast, and I can't help but think that some day she is going to hit one of her own children or something and I won't even know how to feel about it because I sort of hate them all.

I mean. Yay free basketball!

wv: cutter

Annika said...

Well, it may have just been a bunch of things that happened, but they were all related even if it doesn't *mean* anything.