Beyond the third baseline a line of amber traces the setting horizon. Gen X mothers unwind from the fraught tension of watching their little leaguers, descending into prattle on the most recent sale at Talbot's or Nieman Marcus. A precocious toddler fidgets with a pack of Virginia Slims. And adjacent a near chainlink fence a well-coiffed gentleman in his mid-30s, in skinny jeans and a sportjacket, waits patiently for his 4th grade slugger to retire from the visiting team's dugout. His son moves with the easy rhythm of a natural baseball player. A calm torque, a lazy finesse. Today's game was as good as any other. An opposite field triple; a "good eye" at the plate, earning a walk after behind in the count. Not to mention a line drive he snagged at 2nd base, indeed almost doubling up an ambitious baserunner. Yes, today's was a swell game.
And so our fashionable father offered a ready hand parallel at his thigh, in excellent position to recieve a "low-five" from an excited youth athlete.
But alas, the father was left hanging. A curious pause. Always the thoughtful dad, he surfaced the full arc of possibilities "is a low-five not urban enough, should I have provided dap?" "is he teething and/or entering an angsty pubescent stage?" "is he still unhappy with his 1st inning strikeout?"
In time the young ballplayer responded, "Dad, I appreciate the gesture. But I just applied a base coat of Dove hand lotion and I need to let it set. I'm comfortable in my skin and don't want to suffer from premature wrinkling."