My Mind

My Mind
This is my mind

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In a cat's eye!

Cold was the wind blowing in over the treetops and down through my windbreaker. I'd pull it close with my hands in the pockets just trying to keep warm on the walk to school from Lindberg Street. This is a day I should have taken the bus I thought to myself as I walked along with an army of goose bumps covering my arms inside my jacket.
The sky was grey with a thin cloud cover. The wind would come in gusts carrying the cold from up north. No frost on these mornings just frozen toes in ankle high Keds. The sack of marbles at my side clacking with each step was no comfort because it was too cold to grip and shoot an aggie on such mornings. But this time I'd give it a whirl again. Since I'd lost just about every marble I'd bought over the last few weeks I figured this would be my last stand. These glass orbs cost too dang much to keep throwing away to more skilled players. My best shooter I kept in my pocket so I didn't have to fish through the whole sack to find it.
Top of Form
I passed through the gate at the back of RTS and walked over to the bike stands huddling against the frosty wind. There he was, my friend, who had won just about every marble I'd ever purchased. This was going to be my morning. Classes began in about a half hour and we had that much time for my challenge.
"Hey, want a try again today?" I asked him.
"Depends on how many marbles I have a chance to win," was his answer.
 I lifted my bag full of marbles rattling them in his face.
"How's this?"
"Does the bag go with them?"
I frowned.
"All I want to know," I said, "is will all yours fit in this bag when I clean you out this time."
"Yeah, right. So does the bag come with 'em?"
"If you win, yeah, the bag is yours but it ain't gonna happen."
He answered by dropping 10 marbles inside the large ring drawn in the dirt beside somebody's brand new Schwinn rammed into the bike stands.
"Put 'em in sucker," he said.
I placed mine in the ring and pulled my oversized shooter out of my pocket. I held it up to the grey sky and marveled at the translucence.  The cat's eye, embedded in the center, stared back.
"Hey, that's nice. When I win that bag can I buy that from you?"
"Fat chance," I replied with a chuckle. "It ain't happening again."
He told me to go first.  I knelt in the dirt and placed my fist on the line with my shooter atop my first finger, thumb behind, ready to propel it into that world of marbles at the center.
Clack! I popped one out of the ring and collected it into my bag. Inside I took careful aim at the next one. Clack! It sailed out of the ring. I put it in my pocket. Again with deliberate eye I caught sight of another easy shot. Clack! Another into my pocket. My luck is good, I thought with a grin sneaking across my face. With the next one in my line of vision, I shot it across the dirt and clack! It sailed to the edge of the ring tapping another and two crossed over the line. I gathered them up. My turn again and I checked all possible angles and shots. My opponent was beginning to show some concern.
There it is, I thought, my next shot. It was clear and straight with no obstructions in the smooth dirt. I took aim, pressed my thumb into it. It fumbled its way off track missing the golden eye by less than an inch. I lost my turn.
I'd like to say my friend goofed his shot, but he kept control of the ring from that point on. We poured marbles into the dirt circle until the bell rang.
"Well?" he said as we ran to class.
"Oh, all right," I said handing him the bag and the shooter. He flipped me a dime for my prized oversized cat's eye with a grin to match the Cheshire cat in Wonderland.

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