He was wondering about being it. This was oneof those questions that he tortured himself deliciously with. Another player tags you and you're it. What exactly does this mean? Beyond being neutered. You are nameless and bedeviled. It. The evil one whose name is too potent to be spoken. Or is the term just a cockney pronunciation if hit? When you tag someone, you hit her. You're 'it, missy. Cockney or Scots or something.
A fearsome power in the term because it makes you sepearte from the others. You flee the tag, the telling touch. But once you're it, name-shorn, neither boy nor girl, you're the one who must be feared. You're the dark power in the street. And you feel a kind of demonry, chasing the players, trying to put your skelly-bone hand on them, to spread your taint, your curse. Speak the syllable slowly if you can. A whisper of death perhaps.
Baseball's oh so simple. You tag a man, he's out. How different from being it. What spectral genius in the term, that curious part of childhood that sees through the rhymes and nonsense words, past the hidings and seekings and pretendings to something old and dank, some medieval awe, he thoguht, or earlier, even, that crawls beneath the midnight skin.