Monday, 12 October, 2009

Pilfered tennis balls

Perusing pilfered tennis balls should, you would imagine, induce in the peruser a wave of complex emotions, ranging from the urge to perform a celebratory jig to a desire to confess in a flood of tears and repentance. Not so in my case, however. All I feel now as I stare at the furry sphere on my floor is resentment.
I pilfered this ball about two months ago, from the cubicle of a reporter who works in the same newspaper as I, but a different department. "You're sure I can steal it?" I asked my friend, who works in the tennis ball dude's department. "Sure," she replied. The tennis ball dude, as you might imagine, wasn't around.
But all the conspiratorial thrill I felt when I dropped the ball in my bag evaporated when I lobbed it at the wall back in my room. For instead of zipping past the outside edge of my hesitantly thrusting bat upon bouncing on the floor, it (the ball) dribbled under its (the bat's) worn oil-hole.
For two months now, it has mocked me with its yellow leer and obstinate refusal to rise above my ankle, even when I've attempted to fling it out of my sight.
It's the very definition of irony, for the first, and only other, tennis ball I pilfered, back when I was in school, was tennis ball perfection, and remained in my possession about forty seven seconds, before my second backfoot punch sent it bouncing out of my balcony grille and bounding enthusiastically in a north-easterly direction, towards a happier place and, I'm sure, a better batsperson.

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