"You have to look at where you want the ball to go, not at the ball," he says, looking me straight in the eye. In this light they're just green, the amber rim around his pupil invisible. The ball careens too far to my left and I fall into a fit of giggles.
The June air is cool and comforting against the sweat on my brow. River darts between us, avoiding the ball at all costs. If it even comes within a few feet of her she screams and hides her tail between her legs. Anthony points to the old military truck with the cracked windows and the worn down clutch, desperate to get in and drive. Some day he will, but I'm grateful that day is far away.
I kick the ball back towards Paul and he catches it with the faded black of his tennis shoes. We've been meaning to get him new ones, but when we're together and out and about we forget about shoes and unbought groceries and spend our time laughing or bickering. There is no inbetween with us, there never has been.
The toddler squeals and demands attention as River jumps to lick his face. They are both tired, and I can feel the droop in my own step and know that home is farther than I would like. We make are way over the green and back to the dusty brown where our foot prints are matched toe for toe. The glow of dusk is purple and blue on the horizon, the half moon peaking down at us. The man-up-here's half smile matches the man-down-here's and we walk along.
Home is the people beside you, the earth beneath you, the sky above you. This is mine.