A few weeks ago you played in a tournament. It was a short-lived experience, on a team that I knew would not last. But even so, I sent a note to the coach to let him know about you. About how you don’t hear all that well, and that a gym, especially, is a really crumby place to hear anything what with all the bouncing balls and pounding feet and yelling. There is nothing in there to absorb sound, so it must be wildly frustrating for you, Henry.
I told him what I tell all of your coaches…
…to look at you when they speak, and to speak up a bit.
And also that your dog chewed up one of your hearing aids so you only have one ear to work with…
…that you are smart and you will pick up on everything quickly.
And he responded politely. No questions. No concerns. Just a nice response that went something like “looking forward to meeting him.”
But something in me, just the slightest little bit, felt unsettled. That shadow of a feeling you get in your heart when there isn’t really any tangible reason for it to be there…it was there. Sometimes it feels like paranoia.
I watched during the final game. I watched him call to you out there.
You kept on running. All of you…you all kept on running.
And then he pulled you out and he did not put you back in.
Maybe I am wrong, or maybe just then I knew what that shadow of a feeling was for.
I wonder how many people in your life, rather than putting in an effort to talk to you, have just given up.
They are missing out on you, little buddy.