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Anecdotal Spores: The Lesson

by Matt Hughes

This was one of his first memories: begging to join the older boys playing baseball. He was five years old. They finally relented, gave him an old glove that hung almost to his knees when he put it on, and to keep him out of the way, placed him in the “outfield” beyond some cedar trees.

From this position, the little boy couldn’t see any of the other players. Nevertheless, he faithfully kept gazing up into the evening sky above the little cedars. Waiting, waiting, day after day.

Then late one afternoon it happened. He saw a dark point in the sky. It grew swiftly bigger and bigger until it hit him in the face, knocking him down and bloodying his nose.

This was a mystical experience, and he never forgot the lesson, which is that some things grow bigger and bigger, and then there is this brief blunt spasm of darkness, after which they are gone and you find yourself lying on the ground, looking up at the sky.


Matt Hughes lives in the country in the wooded Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. The Theatre Studio in Manhattan recently produced four of his one-act plays, the latest being Inside the Outside, or the Mobius Trip. He collects old and rare books and, with his wife of many years, antiques. He likes to go yard saleing.

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