The Utility Player, Chapter 13

The up rolls up to the Seaview softball game just in time to witness the final out. A stocky guy grounds out and that’s it; guys from the other team come in carrying the bases.

However, the up does at least find out when the games start, 10:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. “Bring your mitt,” says this one guy, which can be interpreted as an invitation. The up does not mention that he has his mitt in his backpack, nor that he is secretly not all that heartbroken about not being able to play softball.

I mean, softball. It’s fine as a recreational sport. Sure. Fun can be had. And you also do have to be able to field your position. Furthermore, the women’s game is intense. However, regular old float-the-ball-up-there softball — the up sees this mainly as an opportunity to check in with other humans while on Fire Island.

The up is a fan of human contact; sure he is. Definitely. Not a huge fan, but a fan nonetheless. “Bring your mitt.” That was nice. It’s good to feel welcome, that is for dang sure.

There are other things he is going to look into while he’s on the island, though. One of them is yoga. Yoga on the beach is nice. “Turn your chin towards Dunewood,” said a seasoned yoga instructor on the beach this morning. Oh yes, she is a yoga elder. You could feel the good vibe of many a season of yoga instruction stretching the up’s tight quads.

The up’s quads, calves, glutes, knees are all knotted up. He doesn’t walk these days so much as lurch. This concerns him. It doesn’t pain him but it does ache him. He is seeking actively to reset his lower body so that he can walk around feeling nimble.

He has weight loss goals.

He has alcohol limitations. Indeed he is zero’ing out alcohol for a day or two or more. He’s going to see how that goes. A lot of calories in alcohol and what’s the point, really. You’re already on an island off the coast of another island. The beach is right there. You can hear the ocean, feel the breeze. Why not just let yourself be for a few days and find out what that feels like?

The other thing the up wants to investigate while he’s here for a couple of weeks is boogie-boarding. That looks like it could be fun. If you’re one with the ocean, you’re in the cosmic flow. That’s the up’s POV. He’s going to look into it.

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