I reckon y’all might be wondering how my baseball tutoring business is going in the midst of all the coronavirus craziness and stay at home orders.
The answer is that it’s going. Not going strong, but it’s still going. All three of my pupils’ parents are paying me to come over and work with their kids – at a safe distance, of course. I think I may insist on that more than the parents do. I’m not stupid: I know they’re just glad to have someone who’ll take their kid in the backyard and make him run around some.
This time really must suck for kids. Missing their friends, not being able to see anyone or go anywhere, no organized sports, even missing school. School is where most kids socialize, and, if you take that away from them, they’re gonna get pretty lonely. And bored. And restless. (I’m getting lonely, bored and restless…and I’m supposed to be an adult lol.)
I was taking Noah and Cody to the park, since there’s more room to run around in, but now they’ve pretty much closed those, so I have to work with them in their backyards. Good thing they both have them and that they’re pretty big. Not as big as the Andrews’ yard is, but still plenty of room to get reasonably far away from each other to play a decent game of catch.
Catch is pretty much all we can do. Batting is not a good idea unless the backyard is huge and there are no windows to break. I’m getting in a little BP for Cody and Noah, but I’m not working on it with Lucas, since, the way he’s been hitting, he probably could bust a window from the furthest point from the house in the yard.
Cody’s the easiest to work with. I throw him ground balls, he catches, dives or runs for them. He throws ‘em back, and he’s already got a good arm for a kid his age. The way I play catch with the kids gets pretty athletic (y’all know that already), and it’s a workout for me too, which is good, since I need one as bad as my pupils do. Then I have Cody run laps around the yard, although he’s a dang good runner. There’s not much I need to teach him in that department.
The only problem is that I’m on half-pay from Simone and Daphne, at least for the duration. Daphne’s botox clinic is one of many non-essential businesses, and so she’s closed up until things get back to normal…by which time all her rich bitch clients are gonna be so wrinkled they’ll be lining up around the block to see her lol. At least that’s what we all hope. The thing Daphne’s afraid of is that people might learn that they can live without botox, although the odds of that happening in Beverly Hills (where her clinic is located) strike me as pretty dang slim.
As for Noah, I’m still not even sure if I like the kid in the first place. He’s let up from being so fuckin sullen like he was the first couple of times we met…although that just means he leaves his headphones in the house and sometimes makes eye contact with me. He works some, but the thing I really can’t get a handle on is if he gives a shit about baseball in the first place. He can catch, throw and run well enough, but there’s never a whole lot of heart in it. I don’t think he minds the exercise, or even the company from 6’ away for an hour a week, but I don’t know if there’s a baseball player inside there. His dad keeps assuring me that there is, but I’m not so sure. I reckon I need to have a talk with him, but he’s impossible to get to talk for much more than a sentence at a time…and sometimes he doesn’t even talk to me in complete sentences.
Something just ain’t right there, and I can’t put my finger on what it is. I don’t mind going over and throwing a ball back and forth, but I’m finding it hard to work with a kid who’s not baseball-crazy. Joyce keeps telling me that’s a good thing and that I’ll learn a whole lot more trying to teach Noah than I will with Cody, but…well…motivating a teenager is fuckin hard. If anyone knows any tricks I can use, y’all know where the comment section is.
And Lucas… I’m really worried about him. I see him more than my other two pupils, but he’s the one who’s really gotten totally fucked by this coronavirus thing. We were all so glad that he got the starting spot at 2nd…and now that’s all gone for nothing. I’ve really gotten to like him, and not just as a pupil. He’s become a friend too. He’s one of those kids who love baseball the way I loved baseball at his age, and not being able to play must be fuckin torture for him. This is worse than an injury, since you know an injury will heal, even if they’re frustrating as heck when you’ve got one. But this – knowing the whole season has been cancelled – dang that must hurt for Lucas. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I’d had to miss out on my second varsity season. All I can do is go over, toss the ball around with him, go swimming and sit 6’ away from him. Joyce says I’ve become his ‘shrink’ (her word for therapist), and maybe that’s true a little bit. But Joyce also says that that’s part of my job as a tutor and that I’ve been doing it with Lucas for over a year already. I never thought about it that way, but maybe she’s right.
And it’s not like Lucas won’t get a chance to play ball in college, although we still don’t know what school he’s going to, since acceptance letters don’t come for another two weeks. One thing I know that Lucas’ dad doesn’t is that USC isn’t Lucas’ first choice.
Carter’s (that’s Carter the brother who can’t fight, not Carter the father who texts his kids congratulations) moved back with the family for the duration as well. He didn’t want to stay in the apartment he rented with some buddies of his if it was gonna mean staying with them 24/7. I see some of him when I go over to work with Lucas, and I think I’ve told y’all, he’s a great guy when he’s not tore up. I’m even getting used to Jennifer, their sister who’s got that huge goo-goo eyed crush on me. I think I’ve talked to her enough so she’s cutting me down to normal size, which is good. That being up on a teenage girl’s pedestal was a little scary. (So was her taking pictures of me in the pool from her bedroom window.)
And, oh, the inevitable has happened and Lucas kicked Carter’s ass a couple days ago. They got to arguing about something, Carter decided to play the ‘I’m the older brother so I’m right’ card…and, given the kind of mood he’s been in lately, it didn’t take Lucas too long to get Carter to admit he was wrong after all. I don’t suppose it was a fair fight – Lucas is in amazing shape and he’s been taught a few things by me and El Tigre…and we all know that Carter can only fight when Keaton’s there to do it for him – but I think having his ass handed to him by his little brother might be a wake-up call to Carter, either to learn to stop starting fights, or to learn a little about how to finish them.
So I’m still on the under the table payroll with my three clients, and I think I’m helping my pupils, maybe not so much on skills per se, but just by keeping them active and giving them an outlet while we’re all confined to quarters. That I’m getting some exercise isn’t a bad thing, either. I’m not sure that I might not be bending the ‘safer at home’ rules a little, but I’m not going out in public, and me and the boys are being super careful about spreading anything. Before we start we put on a shitload of hand sanitizer, then we go over the gloves and the ball with those clorox wipes. That means I’m using a crappy old glove I have…I wouldn’t subject a good glove to clorox anything.