It’s just after dusk, the light of day losing it’s grip in the western sky, the chirp of insects mingling with the quiet of the approaching night. A determined storm front passed through a few hours ago, the damp still clinging, the cool air that followed it in making me want to stay outside. Alas, the mosquitoes welcomed me as the juicy meal they always crave, my warmth attracting them even through the fog of the insect coils I have lit on my balcony. I couldn’t last for long outside, the sting and itch as the bloodsuckers feasted on my feet and ankles.

I am yet the barefoot boy, fighting for that last bit of play before being called inside.

My son asked me to play some catch with him yesterday, a literal throwback. I couldn’t help but think of the days when he used to wait for me to get home from work, baseball gloves out on the driveway when I pulled up. It has been nearly three years since I have thrown a ball. I quit playing three years ago when my back quit recovering in between games. But the arm was still good yesterday, the satisfying pop of the ball in my son’s glove as he caught my throws a bit of a surprise. We had a great time just throwing the softball. Sports have always been the way we have bonded. This summer has reminded of that, what with yesterday’s game of catch, the hours of tennis we have played the past few months, even the night at stock car races we enjoyed together last weekend.

You should play again, Dad.

Maybe I will.