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March 1, 2019 Dispatches

"Talkin' Bout Practice": for coach

Alyssa Oursler

"Talkin' Bout Practice": for coach photo

The world does not write enough odes
to in-betweenness—the way you can be
together / feel apart / apart / feel together.
In a room of dozens, in a city of millions,
the mashing of MacBook keys makes an isolating tune. 
All these documents in clouds, where our heads should be.
But my childhood basketball coach wrote everything 
by hand. His widow mails me three pages of pale 
yellow paper she found in his desk after his death: 
careful cursive curating a list of life lessons. It looks 
like sheet music, except every letter is a planet. Don’t wait 
until you’re old to wear purple, he says. Yield. 
I was in fifth grade when I met someone who understood
me. I was three margaritas deep with someone who didn’t 
when he died. But permanence and impermanence are alike
in their lies. Some connections render endings 
irrelevant, blur the boundary / together / apart.

 

image: Aubrey Hirsch


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