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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

A ball, a trash can, a purpose

When the first sound of bump-bump-bumpbumpbumpbump hit the roof of my house, I thought less of impending rain and more of a game called Peak. Outside my house, a group of men I consider my brothers were tossing a child's toy ball up on the roof of my house, trying to resurrect an old college game. The rules were as simple as they were silly. Call the shot, toss the ball, cheer a victory, drink a few beers.

They realized quickly that the roof wasn't the same. The ball wasn't the same. The game just couldn't be played.

It could've been cause for depression. It could've signalled the end of an era. People change and the reindeer games just don't work anymore.

I was caught up trying to pay attention to the necessities of the impending party. I barely noticed when the group again assembled in my garage. One man held a ball. Another held a broom. I gathered quickly the game involved putting the ball in the trash can. The broom served as simple ball control.

Rules formed quickly. Beers crackled open. Laughter, taunting, pointing, and poking sprang from the semicircle. Soon, new friends were joining the half-moon of silliness. Debates began over the name of the game. Would it be Trash Can or Trash Ball? Without a doubt, there was trash talk.

I sat down briefly and tried my hand at the game. They were a precious few moments.

In the short time I sat, I realized that while the assembled group would soon spread out again across the country to tend to familial duties and professional aspirations, the heart was in the hastily formed rules of a game. Just like Peak, competition was less the goal than the ability to sit, laugh, point, poke, etc.

Everything is going to change. Like the game, we'll morph into something new. But the roots will be the same.

It's enough to force a guy to remember that life is too fucking good to be bad.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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