Mysterious Basketball Rolling Down the Street

Around 11, late in the morning on Sunday, I found myself on a walk. Accompanying me was one of the dogs (the other was at home, sleeping on her Mama’s head). He was trotting along on my right, slightly behind me because of the stroller. The baby was inside the stroller. Since the weather warmed up to the low 70's (surprising for Bay Area folks in early February), we’ve removed the stroller’s insulating sleeping bag-like thing that covers the baby’s legs and torso. Now, the baby casually puts her feet up on the rubber bar while we stroll around, as if she were a teenager lounging on the couch. As we make the turn toward the park I spot a basketball in the distance, rolling down the street towards us. Its rolling slowly, gradually picking up speed as it heads our way.

I expect someone to appear, running after it. Nobody does. Then in the distance, maybe 200 feet away, I see a car with the trunk open and somebody comes to close it, perhaps finished with grocery shopping. The ball, now moving swiftly, crosses the street before richocheting off a nicely pruned hedge and coming to a halt ten feet away from the parked stroller and the dog, wondering what we’re waiting for.

I pick up the ball. Its a reminder of how I need to start picking up a basketball more often, taking advantage of this weather and making pit stops on these stroller walks to shoot some baskets. The baby taps her feet, cooing and chewing on the rubber teething toy. I bring the ball up the hill and park the stroller on the grass. The dog pees and then snifs around. The baby finishes her bottle in the shade. I bring the ball up to the parked silver Toyota minivan. I consider ringing the doorbell. I see the house has two separate units and entrances. The garage door is wide open. Maybe the basketball somehow rolled out when the door opened? I hear the voices of young children. I decide I’ll leave the ball nestled against a rock in the front grass. Maybe these little kids will grow up with this basketball. Maybe we’ll see them shooting around at this park. Or maybe someone else will walk by and take it. We continue our stroll back down the hill.

Writing. Poetry. Personal Essays. On the NBA, MLB, media, journalism, culture, teaching and humor.

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