We played in our cousin’s backyard. It was always pitcher’s hand out, right field out. If you did dish it right over the barbed wire into burdock, Queen Anne's lace, thistle, milkweed, you had to gauge the ball’s trajectory well because the donkey that stayed back there had a hell kick, closed fast, and guarded his pasture like he owned a Fort Knox.
The big kids could drive the rawhide deep into the apple tree down the left field line. If you were fleet and cunning – I was fleet and cunning – the ball might take a few ticks to bang back down through branches after its initial whoosh through the leaves and you could rob them, laugh the rest of afternoon away.
Which is how I wasted every summer before I wasted years on Carl Gustav Jung, red wine, spinning records and writing until I finally found a job worth doing. But I'd go back there right now, donkey be dammed, to live again on nothing but nerves and hunger.