This one should be titled ‘Curve Balls’ but I want a happy ending. Not a happily-ever-after ending. Just a happy ending; one of many. One of them that I hope for is to wake up one day and realise that despite how many mistakes I’ve have made, and in spite of how many curve balls life throws at me, I still did pretty good.
So my mum is dozing off while watching some TV show that for the life in me I cannot bring myself to watch. After nodding off a couple of time, she mumbles sleepily, “Curve balls, what are curve balls, who says curve balls?”
I try to get her to repeat the question but she gets up with a very Nigerian mschew!, and then shuffles off to bed. Yeah, curve balls. I have used the curve ball phrase in my writing, and gotten into a few arguments with mum because she does not approve of my borrowed americanisms. So perhaps that was the reason for her sleepy distress.
And what are curve balls, anyway? I know they have something to do with baseball, Babe Ruth (I have no idea who he is, I am Kenyan!), and my favourite character in Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris, one of those not-quite-perfect stories about life, friendship and change. So I googled curve balls, and then I did a wikipedia (shamefaced shrug).
The curveball (also known as the bender, and Uncle Charlie), is a breaking pitch in baseball thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that impart down and/or sideways spin to the ball. It is therefore considered a type of breaking ball. Contrary to a fastball (which has only back spin), the curveball has a diagonal spin that creates a wake behind the ball, making the pitch drop on its way to the plate. A curveball is used to disrupt the opponent’s timing.
So I guess a curve ball is not a good thing if you are not the one throwing it, and especially if it comes from life.
It is so much easier to moan and groan at life’s little and major injustices. I have been known to do that occasionally. However, I much prefer to find the humour in the oh-so-common sorrows. Not an easy thing to do.
For instance, that weird morning when I woke up to the sounds of explosions. I saw the flash, I heard the boom, and then I felt my mum literally lift me off the bed. She was not going to wait and find out what the hell the explosions were. She was a lot more concerned with protecting her babies.
We found out later that the explosions were from a gas storage facility that had caught fire during the night. And that is when I remembered my cats. Mum was holding four fluffy kittens, my own quite large self, and my sleepyhead brother.
And then it was 6:23am, and the morning sun was beautiful. Damn if that ain’t a happy ending! Yes, mother, I will drop the negative negatives, too.
But allow me to impose as I usually do, my taste in music. I love this song. Boungiorno Principessa [Good Morning, Princess] from the film Life is Beautiful.
Oh just in case you were wondering: Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella) is a film about a Jewish man who has a wonderful romance in a time of despair and pain because of his humour. He now must that same quality to protect his son when they end up in a Nazi death camp.
Below are the Italian lyrics to Boungiorno Principessa and a close translation.
|Boungiorno Principessa||Good Morning Princess|
Nella notte che non passa mai
Sono belle le labbra che ridonoSe piovera
Con la pioggia anche il grano verra
Ripescando la felicita.Guarda lassu
La luna e tutta bianca e il cielo e tutto blu
E se anche tu ci sarai
Sara facile tutto vedrai
Ce la faro
Con la forza che ti ruberoE torneremo
A camminare per la via
E ogni stagione riavra la sua poesia.Se finira
Questa notte di bassa marea
Ripescando la felicita.Felicita
|If you sing
In the night that never ends
I will kiss you
Those lips look beautiful when they’re smilingIf it rains
Along with the rain, the wheat will also come
I will find you
Rediscovering happinessLook up there
The moon is so white and the sky is so blue
And if you want to be there too
Everything will be easy, you’ll see
I will make it happen
with the strength I’ll steal from youAnd we will return
To walk this path of life
And every season will have poetry once moreIf it ends
This night of low tides
We will go away
We will go away
So curve balls or morning sunshine, wake up and find your happy ending every day, even if it is laughter amidst tears. There is always something to be happy about. Always. Just don’t explode anything, okay?