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February 4, 2001

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When we were kids the field was so big. The coach made us run perimeters along the fence (we dreaded it), weeds at bottom, links cut and stretched for shortcuts, cigarette butts and broken beer bottles the only evidence of the nighttime world of teenagers we only suspected existed. We ran half-heartedly, kicking dirt clods and popping heads off dandelion stalks, as far from the coach as we could get, in deeper center field than any of us could hit. I was 10 and so were my friends. Everything is smaller now seen through adult eyes but just spend an afternoon in a field testing its size by how far you can kick a lopsided red ball and you'll remember that the world's not small--but you can still run around it.