And when they finished saving my life, there came the winding down of adrenaline, maybe a few comments among the team involved. And then they returned to their shift concerns, to the next important job and the next. Everything since has been life as extra innings. The Braves are 5-10 in spring training as of today, this extra day. I’ve not checked the Reds, but it has to be better. I’ve not checked my blood pressure either, and I forgot to take my Crestor last night, and when I smoke (yes I still smoke) I feel a tightness in my chest. When I feel that, I have to close my eyes and try to prepare myself. Baseball helps and works best when at an actual game or listening on the radio during late spring on the porch, while it’s raining, smoking a Marlboro with my eyes closed.

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Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer and prose poet from Kentucky. He is the author of seven books, most recently the short story collection Sway (Cowboy Jamboree Press, 2020).