A Ball Is a Ball — Claire Polders


“When you feel it coming on, here’s what you do: imagine it as a ball. A football, or a tennis ball, whatever kind of ball you’re most familiar with, or whatever ball requires the use of the limb in which you have the most confidence. Once you’ve imagined the ball in great detail, and know its size, its colour, its weight, how the texture feels in your hands, whether the ball has any scars or stains, etcetera—you get rid of it. That’s right. You kick or hit or throw that ball as far away as you can. Put all your effort into this action, feel your muscles strain, and watch the result. Look! See how the ball takes off and speeds away from you. See it getting smaller and smaller and smaller until you can no longer see the dot.

Of course, it will happen from time to time that the ball comes back to you. Some balls have delusions of their own and think they’re boomerangs. There’s nothing you can do about that. You will notice the ball bouncing in your direction or coming at you out of the blue, and smacking you right in the head. But that’s okay. A ball is a ball. You can always kick or hit or throw it again. And so it goes. It’s gone.”

Claire Polders is a Dutch author of four novels. Her short prose has appeared in anthologies and magazines in print and online. Currently she’s finishing her first novel in English. She lives with her American husband in Paris, but you may find her at @clairepolders or www.clairepolders.com