I received one book in the mail last week. It's a memoir called The Opposite Field by Jesse Katz. An excerpt from the book reads:
My park is called La Loma. I have always liked the sound of that, the symmetry of those double-barrel Ls, the femininity of the final Spanish vowels, the spacey La-La Land echo, all an improvement on its stiff translation: the Hill. La Loma is prettier, softer and rounder, earthier --loamier. A park for losing yourself in. The park I went looking for myself in.I'm looking forward to reading this book - I like the way this author writes.
Max and I have spent nine springs and summers there, through squalls and droughts, heat waves and cold snaps, from his preschool years to the onslaught of adolescence. We have celebrated there and we have sulked there, twirling like fools across the dirt and chalk, drowning our broken hearts with fusillades of water balloons. We have made friends for life at La Loma and, I suspect, enemies for just as long. We have gone there to forget and to remember, to stop time and to grow up. The park is under our skin: season after season of bites, burns, stings, cuts, sprains, scars. Max has bled at La Loma. He has barfed there. He has wet himself. I have rinsed his wounds at La Loma, iced him, kneaded him, bandaged him, scooped him off the ground, his face streaked with sweat and clay and eye-black grease, and held him in my arms. Max has stood there, in jersey and cap, and hacked out "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of a thousand people on his electric guitar. I have given myself to those same people, cheered and groaned alongside them, accepted their prayers and shared their beers, slipped to me in Styrofoam coffee cups. Whenever we have needed it, whenever I have felt burdened or alone, La Loma has been there. The park is always the park. Our refuge. My excuse.