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What the hell is a baseball?; Seriously, what is it? Open!
Topic Started: Jul 30 2016, 07:19 AM (382 Views)
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((Cristóbal Morales continued from Wasserweber))

There didn't seem to be much of a plan for today's P.E. class, which Cristo couldn't exactly say he was disappointed about. He much preferred to be left to his own devices in athletics unless he was at baseball practice. Getting strong-armed into team games of kickball or whatever was... well, he'd kindly call it counter-productive, if the aim was to make people enjoy sports. Especially when you got grouped with the vocal minority of students who took what should have been casual games way too seriously.

Case in point, the guy over there eyeing a baseball bat like he'd never seen such a thing before and it had just insulted his mother. Will was hard to miss and harder to ignore, and he'd made his thoughts on American sports very clear more than once. Cristóbal had never been drawn into an argument with him, of course, because he didn't have a death wish and knew that once some people had made up their minds about things, there was no convincing them otherwise even if the thing they were certain of didn't matter all that much when you really thought about it.

Cristo had located a baseball, though, and Will had a bat, and he'd been considering going out to work on his throw. It was better than his swing, definitely, but his aim still tended to go a little wild in the heat of the moment sometimes. He absently tossed the ball to himself as he stood and watched Will, waiting to see if he'd present an opening to be approached - or better, approach Cristo first so he didn't have to be the one to break the ice.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Well, that was straightforward.

Cristóbal took a step back before replying; he didn't like the feeling of Will looming over him. "Have you never played before?" He asked, just to clarify what exactly it was Will wanted. Cristo could throw, certainly, though he wasn't a pitcher, but if Will wanted full instruction on how baseball was played, well... Cristo supposed he could explain the basics well enough, at least.

He doubted that Will had too much interest in really learning how to play baseball. For one thing, he seemed to have nothing but disdain for American sports in general. For another, he just wasn't built like a baseball player. Football, maybe, or wrestling. Something that involved more hitting people and less running and finesse.

Cristóbal absently turned the ball over in his hands as he waited for Will's answer. It might be better if someone else joined them too, less running back and forth for just the two of them if the ball went wild on a throw or Will just so happened to hit it a considerable distance.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristo, probably wisely, kept his mouth shut as Will launched into a spiel about why he was too good for baseball, or something. He liked to think of himself as a non-judgmental person, but really? Why not just come right out and say that he hated the US and its sports and the family that took him in instead of trying to dump him off on someone else like a full fifty percent of Cristóbal's family had, if he was going to go that far? He kept that to himself, though, and dutifully followed Will to a free patch of grass where they wouldn't need to worry so much about stray throws or hits.

"Are you right- or left-handed?" Was what he said instead. "Whichever it is, stand with that hand on the outside, away from me. Bat over your shoulder, but not resting on it. Bend your knees and elbows slightly.

Cristo didn't have his glove, so that probably meant a bit of running back and forth to pick the ball up instead of trying to catch it if he didn't want to ruin his hands. That was fine though. It would keep him busy. He took his place a short distance away to observe Will's batting position before he made his first pitch.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristo had to admit he was a little surprised that Will even bothered to attempt small talk with him. He hadn't seemed the type to indulge in idle chatter with the rabble, or however Will himself would probably put it.

"My family likes watching baseball, and I like playing it with friends," was his simple reply. He had the briefest notion of adding more: You know. Family. That thing that you seem to be taking for granted - resenting, even! - when you already have so much and they have no obligation to take care of you.

Without saying any of that, Cristo assumed his best pitcher's stance, wound up, and let the ball fly.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristóbal was a little taken aback at how well Will swung the bat, moving a step over just in time to avoid getting nailed in the leg by the returned ball. Before he could go and retrieve it, Will was already on his way. He hadn't made much effort to catch it, given his lack of a glove right now, but he hadn't intended to make Will go back and forth the whole time. Oh well.

Instead, he stood there and waited for Will to return, raising his eyebrows a bit at the topic of conversation. It was thematically appropriate, he supposed, if a bit... out of left field, as it were.

"That's interesting," he said, for lack of anything else. What was he supposed to say to that? Of course, if they were going to take the baseball metaphor to its logical conclusion, Cristo had never even come up to bat at this point in his life. It wasn't like he had any "base" experiences to share, nor would he be comfortable spilling them to a near-stranger if he had. He wondered if Will even expected him to respond, or to just listen and nod along with whatever.

He held his hands up for Will to throw the ball back to him when he got within tossing distance.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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What...

What the hell was wrong with this guy?

Will launched into a tirade, going on and on about how this and that was the worst thing to ever happen to him, his accent thickening until it was more or less indecipherable, and Cristóbal just... stared. Not an unusual reaction from him on the outside, but inside?

Inside, he was suddenly seething.

Cristo didn't like being angry. It wasn't something he usually felt, and when he did, it was always the same kind of helpless, impotent anger that he could never manage to give voice to. It exhausted him, and whoever or whatever had sparked it in the first place almost never knew that it had even existed.

Now seemed much the same. Will raged on, laying out exactly how the home and people that Cristo loved were so much dirt under Will's shoe, and Cristo just stared, wide eyes half-hidden by his bangs, and said nothing about the cold, tight knot in his chest that squeezed tighter with every word.

Oh. A fastball.

You want a fastball, you high-and-mighty douchebag?

"Alright," was the single, clipped response Cristóbal gave before winding up again and throwing what he thought was probably the hardest pitch of his life. He realized almost as soon as the ball left his fingertips that he'd made a mistake, he hadn't waited long enough for Will to comfortably get into position and signal to him before letting loose, but by then it was too late to do anything but watch things unfold.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristóbal stared.

And stared.

And stared.

And a strained, humorless laugh came bubbling up out of his throat.

A hit like that shouldn't have been physically possible. To be perfectly honest, he was pretty sure it wasn't. He was seeing things. He was no practiced pitcher, and even if he was, to throw the ball hard enough for... that? Even with a powerful, trained batter, which Will had in no uncertain terms made clear that he wasn't?

But of course. Of course Will could go and hit a home run with no prior baseball experience, because he was just the best there was, wasn't he? He was so much better than everyone in Cochise, in Kingman, in the United States, and in the entire world. He was William McKinley, and how dare anyone try to imply that he didn't deserve everything right away and on a silver platter?

No, Will had made it perfectly clear just how far everyone and everything was beneath him, and Cristo wanted no further part of it. His hands were shaking. He felt like he might be physically ill, he was so angry.

"You should go to the nurse," he mumbled, his own voice sounding far away. He needed to get out of here, and the period was nearly over - and by the way, that was school equipment, you couldn't just throw it on the ground like that even if you did just shatter it in a physically-impossible display of whatever kind of superiority that was-

He needed to get out of here.

Staring straight ahead, Cristo stumbled away from Will and the class, and whatever the hell had just happened, and he didn't look back.

((Cristóbal Morales continued in Empire of Dirt))
Edited by backslash, Aug 5 2016, 10:27 PM.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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