Spiting things people like

On Sunday late afternoon I met up with two of my friends to toss around an Aerobie. I hadn’t thrown the pink and black nylon ring in a few years and so it took some figuring out to get it to sail the right way through even the light breeze that was moving through Washington Park. Because my throws and my friends’ throws were so errant and required chasing the Aerobie around a bit, the somewhat spacious lawn there felt smaller and people seemed to encroach on us more than if we were tossing around a baseball.

While we were there a group of Albany “hipsters” – there aren’t really hipsters in Albany – asked the three of us if we were interested in playing kickball. I immediately feigned disinterest. There was no way I was going to play kickball. Kickball might be fun but it’s ironic fun. Forget that I might enjoy doing it. No, these guys in their cut off skinny jeans and the girls with them were moving in on our grass. I muttered thanks but no thanks. I really didn’t want to be seen playing an ironic game with people who ride vintage bicycles, no matter how much fun they were having.

We moved to another spot not far away and were equally irritated with two sets of two people playing bocce ball. The day was very sunny and very beautiful outside. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were people out playing lawn darts or horseshoes earlier. For some reason, the people playing Bocce irritated me even more. I just couldn’t understand – and this is all on me – how anyone could possibly enjoy Bocce, especially if they were within range of our Aerobie tossing. The thoughts were really quite childish. I think it was that I was coming off of a medication and slightly cranky from standing on a ladder, taping and painting a room all weekend, but my emotional response was just slightly too dramatic.

All the while that I was struggling to catch this flying ring and trying to figure out how to make the thing curve the right way back towards my friends, I was fixated on how my space, my lebensraum was being consumed my dudes playing a game that only old Italian men in Howard Beach play.

It never once occured to me until I left that these people – regardless of their motivations for which I can’t discern – seemed to be enjoying themselves. I was the one taking umbrage in my own mind with what they chose to do or be seen doing. They looked like they were enjoying themselves while I was not not enjoying myself very much. Sufficient to say, I apologize to myself and to them for bad mouthing them under my breath, especially after I looked at some pictures I snapped of them. The did look like they were enjoying themselves.


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