On Ed Harris (An excerpt)

The warrior poet has a gimpy in law, the athlete writer. He writes meterless pieces on the collision of life and sport. He learns lessons that transcend the lines of his field. These lessons seep into his life from the the apartment above him, where his career was left in a bathtub. He learns life and sport don’t form a venn diagram, nor are they concentric circles, or lines that intersect. He learns that life and sport barrel through space and collide inelastically. On impact they reform into one and strike a new heading.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 10.48.02 AM.pngAfter the collision, all we can do is stand at the chalkboard and calculate entry vectors with Ed Harris. The stakes are high. Our families look on. If our angle is shallow, we skip into space and get lost in the cosmos. If our approach is steep we disintegrate in the atmosphere. A burn will be made–one final midcourse correction before reentry. Ed Harris and I are about to decide the fate of our spacecraft.

Image result for ed harris apollo 13

I left Earth on a moonshot to play Major League Baseball. A routine cryo stirr dashed my chances to land in the Big Leagues and now my moonshot is returning to Earth. This essay is calculations on the chalkboard and my safe landing is this: Become employed.

My target zone is in the uncharted Pacific. I want to write fiction and play baseball and be paid for each. It’s no less a moonshot than my shot at the moon–but I refuse to drift aimlessly. I will bring myself back to Earth in monumental achievement or fireball, but I will not approach shallow and bounce into space to die of regret and what ifs.

I have doubts. They tell me this will end in disaster. This last public spectacle. This final addition to the preponderance of evidence suggesting my existence has been contaminated with failure and rendered invalid. But I have Ed Harris. He tells me, “With all due respect Richard, I believe this is going to be your finest hour.”


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