This is a picture of the playground at my old elementary school on Long Island. And that small space you see is where we, the girls, played “bullet” i.e.dodgeball at recess every day (no idea how we came to call it by that name but there you go). One team stood on the fenced in side, the boundary line was where the fence ended, and the other team was positioned in front of the wall with the orange square on it. I know it looks terrifyingly small but at ten, eleven years old we weren’t all that big and strong honestly. Still, if you were on the brick wall side of the equation, well, lets just say you needed to be on extremely high alert if you wished to survive. To be clear, this was a voluntary activity, just something we did for fun after lunch. And despite my shy, sensitive and artistic nature I actually loved playing bullet. Could not wait for recess every day. My tomboy-competitiveness coupled with my desire to act out my irrational childhood anguish-anger by throwing balls at popular girls as hard as I could and maybe knocking one of them over meant I found the whole experience absolutely exhilarating. I freakin’ loved it. And maybe best of all, my athletic aggression ensured I wasn’t picked last. And so, it was kind of a win-win. Anyway, I went back to the old stomping grounds recently and as I passed by the old school decided to stop and take a look. And when I came upon the old bullet court, which I hadn’t seen for decades, I was a little bit stunned. Not only because it hadn’t changed (comforting) but because I couldn’t believe just quite how small it was…and how unknowingly brave-stupid we were to have been playing such a violent game in this concrete shoebox with no supervision or regard for our own personal safety. What the holy hell were you kids thinking? Head shake. Sigh. Oh children of the ’70s and ’80s, you guys were f-ing nuts…and know what, I love you. Just rub some dirt on it, you’ll be okay.
Hey how about some music ? I present to you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most gorgeous song specimens that have surfaced over the past couple of weeks. In these songs you will find lustrous heartbreak, downtown lights, warm tears and lots and lots of melodic beauty. Check ’em all out below…
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