takao47 (takao47) wrote,

Almost End of Summer, takao47 alway recalls free-fall daydreaming

It was many moons ago, when takao47 was eight years old, back in the early 80's, takao47's sister and takao47 spent most of our free time playing a game called "half-ball." You start with a rubber ball (preferably a white pimple ball with a mark on the top) and cut it in half. Since our field was tiny back alley of Japanese middle-class mini-Mansion [1] exburbia [2] of 8 houses subdivision [3] in Kanagawa, we pitched underhand, and fast pitching was not allowed.
But even throwing slowly, we could make that ball dance. If you cupped it properly, the ball would catch the air and fall down and far away. Takao47 felt wonderful to see the ball move rapidly away from the batter, to watch boys and girls fan the air with the cheap plastic baseball bat. 

Scoring was determined by how high up on the two-story house you managed to hit the ball, although we always lied to out parents, and told them that we weren't trying to hit the house. The first floor was single, the second floor was a double, imaginary (pseudo) third floor be triple and so on. 

One summer day, takao47 was up on the second story porch watching takao47's team play a game with his friends. These were the big dudes - boys in teens, and we younger kids were generally relegated to fetching the ball when they played. 

takao47's job was to retrieve balls that were hit onto the second story porch, including those that rolled off the porch and got caught in the rain gutter that went around it. We were constantly jumping over the railing grabbing hold of one of spindles, and leaning over to knock the ball out of the gutter. 

takao47 did this many times that morning, but then something happened. One of the spindles in the gutter was loose, and it came off in my hand. takao47's weight carried him over the side, and there takao47 was, falling to the ground, heading toward the wooden stairs and the concrete walk about twelve feet below.
But the strange thing was that takao47 had no idea that it was happening. takao47 had gone into another world. Even as takao47 fell, takao47 remembers thinking that takao47 must have been daydreaming as usual like doodling atlas in the classroom. 

takao47 started reviewing everything he had done that morning, going over each activity slowly and carefully, trying to decide whether takao47 had dreamed it or not. In the end takao47 calmly came to the conclusion that he was not, in fact, dreaming. before takao47 could do anything about it, takao47 hit the ground. 

All this couldn't have taken more than a second but it felt like ten minutes to him.
takao47's right shoulder landed on the concrete walk. His buttocks hit the wooden stairs, which caused an odd-looking straight-line bruise' Luckily, his head just missed the concrete. 

takao47's mother insisted that takao47 go to the hospital, but nothing was broken. The doctor said that takao47 escaped serious injury because takao47 was dreaming. takao47's body had been relaxed during the free-fall, he told takao47, and takao47 had bounced when he hit the ground. 

At the time, takao47 didn't think much about it. takao47 was glad that iakao47 hadn't been hurt badly, and that was all. But now takao47 look on it in wonder. Why did takao47 think he was dreaming? Did takao47's subconsciousness mind know that takao47 would be protected if my conscious mind was occupied with the idea that fall might not actually be happening? If takao47's mind could do that, could it move his body in such a way as to change where I landed? Was it luck, or was it something else that kept his head from hitting the concrete.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMansion
[2] http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=xburb
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subdivision_(land) 

Tags: summer daydream japanese middle-class mi
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