One moment you're the honey,
the next you're the ant.
-- DEAN YOUNG, "POST-OVIDIAN"
If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I
would make decisions.
-- MONTAIGNE, "OF REPENTANCE" (TRANS. DONALD FRAME)
Dale was a senior and he had this fantasy: at the sports award banquet in May, Coach would stand up and make a speech about how one particular player had hung in there through adversity and then would make the following announcement: This year's winner of the Most Improved Player Award . . . Dale, come on up here and get your trophy. Not that Dale was the kind of teenager who lives in a fantasy world. The truth was, he had worked at his game-on the freshman squad, through two years of junior varsity, every summer at baseball camp, daily workouts throughout the fall, and winter league ball, too. This year he was finally going to get his chance to play regularly as a varsity starter. He knew deep down that he wasn't the best player on the team; no, not even close -- though there was a