One of the things that surfaced upon cleaning out my mother’s house was a small garment that I apparently wore as a toddler. It has, on the front, a symbol of a football and the letters SMU:
And, on the back, another football and some stitched words:
“Gonna Be a Football Hero.” I was named for Kyle Rote, who was quarterback for Southern Methodist University in the early 1950s. I am as clumsy as anyone I know, sucked at sports, and have never felt at home in the physical world. And my earliest enthusiasms, from an age hardly older than that, were for classical music and poetry. No wonder I grew up such a mess.
Of course, the question that will haunt me now is: If the stitching had read, “Gonna be a microtonal composer,” would I maybe have gone into football?